Why study Mathematics and Physics at Warwick?
- We are one of the best Mathematics departments in the world, ranked 44th in the QS World University Rankings 2015/2016. League tables consistently rank us as one of the UK’s top Mathematics departments, and our degrees are internationally recognised.
- Our undergraduate Mathematics programme is distinguished by its academic excellence, flexibility and choice. All courses contain the same basic core of Mathematics in the first year, allowing easy specialisation later to almost all areas of Mathematics. You can also choose optional modules from other departments – up to 50% in later years of the BSc degree.
- Warwick Mathematics Institute is internationally renowned for the quality of its research and our undergraduate degree courses are continually evolving in light of the latest research developments. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), the Warwick Mathematics Institute and Warwick Statistics together were ranked 3rd in the UK, with more than 90% of our research activity assessed as either 'internationally excellent' or 'world leading'.
- You'll also be taught in the Department of Physics, which has an excellent reputation for research and is ranked in the top ten in the UK by The Complete University Guide 2016 and in the top five by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016.
- Our recently refurbished Physics undergraduate teaching laboratories are among the best in the UK. In their final-year project work, students work directly with research staff and have access to the Department’s internationally competitive research facilities.
Why study at Warwick?
A view from our academics
What will I learn?
This course aims to teach you to think both as a physicist (empirically – does your theory fit the data?) and as a mathematician (abstractly, generally and logically – can you prove that every claim you make is true?). You will be jointly taught by the Mathematics and Physics Departments, both of which have a reputation for excellence.
Mathematicians and physicists often address similar problems – weather prediction, how to construct a consistent quantum theory, how to model instabilities – but use different approaches. This degree will help you to master both. There are many examples of unexpected discoveries resulting from interaction between the two ways of thinking. For example, ideas developed in particle physics have led to advances in topology – one of the purest branches of mathematics.
Your first two years combine physics theory modules (about 40%), core mathematics modules (about 50%) and programming/skills (about 10%). The core mathematics modules concentrate on analysis (calculus done with proofs), applied mathematics (mainly differential equations) and linear algebra.
The physics theory modules cover the central principles of quantum and classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, relativity, thermal physics and waves. Warwick is strong in research in a number of branches of mathematics and physics, which are likely to be of most interest to joint degree students. There are later year options on the theory of complex systems, the weather, the modelling of biological systems and theoretical physics. In your final year you will work alongside a team of academics on a research project.
How will I learn?
You will learn through a combination of lectures, laboratory work, tutorials and informal interaction with other students. In your first two years, you will have weekly tutorials with an academic member of staff in groups of up to five students. In the final year, you will spend a substantial proportion of your time on a project.
On the Physics courses, you should expect to attend around 12 lectures a week and spend 6 hours on supervised practical (mainly laboratory and computing) work. On the Mathematics and Physics joint honours course, you will attend between 15 and 18 lectures a week, and spend around 2 hours per week on practical work (mainly computing plus a third-year skills laboratory). For each 1–hour lecture, you should expect to put in a further 1–2 hours of private study.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment is via end-of-year examinations, which make up about 70% of the year’s mark. Laboratory and project work, computing, and coursework associated with core modules, are assessed by final reports and oral presentations. The weighting for each year’s contribution to your final mark is 10:30:60 for the BSc courses
and 10:20:30:40 for the MPhys and MMathPhys courses.
What opportunities are there for work placements and study abroad?
All students can apply for research vacation projects – small research projects supervised by a member of academic staff. BSc students can register for the Intercalated Year Scheme, which involves spending a year in scientific employment or UK industry between their second and final year.
We support student mobility through study abroad programmes. BSc students have the opportunity to apply for an intercalated year abroad at one of our partner universities. The Study Abroad Team based in the Office for Global Engagement offers support for these activities. The Department’s Study Abroad Co-ordinator can provide more specific information and assistance.
A level: A*AA, to include A* in Mathematics, A in Further Mathematics and A in Physics.
You must also achieve a pass in the science practical if your science A level includes a separate practical assessment.
For students not offering Further Mathematics, the typical offer is Mathematics (A*), Physics (A*), third A level (A).
International Baccalaureate: 38 points, to include grade 7 in Higher Level Mathematics and grade 6 in Higher Level Physics
Other Qualifications We welcome applicants with non-standard qualifications or relevant experience, and applicants with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
Access Courses Access to HE Diploma (QAA- recognised) including appropriate subjects with distinction grades in level 3 units, and Mathematics grade A* in A level or equivalent. Offers will also include a requirement in a STEP paper.
Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP) All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP page.
General Studies/Critical Thinking Offers normally exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.
Taking a gap year Applications for deferred entry are welcomed, but applicants are strongly advised to maintain and sharpen their mathematical competence during their year out.
Interviews We do not typically interview applicants.Offers are made based on your predicted and actual grades, along with your personal statement. Occasionally, some applicants may be interviewed, for example candidates returning to study or those with non-standard qualifications.
Open Days All applicants who receive an offer will be invited to a Departmental Open Day in January, February or March. Find out more about our main University Open Days and other opportunities to visit us.
What modules could I study?
In your first year core modules may include:
Mathematics: Sets and Numbers; Mathematical Analysis; Linear Algebra; Differential Equations.
Physics: Electricity and Magnetism; Physics Foundations; Quantum Phenomena; Classical Mechanics and Relativity and Programming Workshop.
Optional modules may include: Introduction to Abstract Algebra; Introduction to Astronomy; Programming for Scientists; Particle Physics and Probability.
In your second year core modules may include:
Mathematics: Mathematical Analysis III; Methods of Mathematical Physics; Vector Analysis; Partial Differential Equations and Variational Principles.
Physics: Electromagnetic Theory and Optics; Quantum Mechanics and its Applications; Thermal Physics II and Physics of Fluids.
Optional Mathematics modules may include: Algebra I; Algebra II; Metric Spaces; Geometry; Differentiation; Introduction to Mathematical Biology and The Theory of ODEs.
Physics Options may include: Stars; Geophysics; Hamiltonian Mechanics; Computational Physics; The Physics of Electrical Power Generation and Experimental Particle Physics.
Options from other Departments could include: Modern Foreign Languages; Business School Modules and Introduction to Secondary School Teaching.
Third year: you take a module on Communicating Science and choose options from the following lists:
Mathematics Options: Complex Analysis; Group Theory;, Algebra II; Differentiation; Metric Spaces; Measure Theory; Functional Analysis I; Fluid Dynamics; Geometry of Curves and Surfaces; Control Theory; Topics in Mathematical Biology; Theory of Partial Differential Equations; Continuum Mechanics.
Physics Options: The Standard Model; Quantum Physics of Atoms; Condensed Matter Physics; Electrodynamics; Plasma Electrodynamics; Crystal Physics; Astrophysics; Cosmology; Weather and the Environment; Statistical Physics; Non-linearity and Chaos; Physics in Medicine; Magnetic Resonance.
Options from other Departments: WBS; The Language Centre.
This is not an exhaustive list and the modules mentioned above may be subject to change. Please visit the department website for more detailed information.
Recent graduate destinations include:
i-nexus, Graduate Java Developer; Warden Park Academy, Graduate Teacher; Ernst and Young, Associate Auditor; Nationwide Building Society, Risk Analyst; Siemens PLM, Software Developer.
A level: A*AA, to include A* in
Mathematics, A in Further Mathematics and A in Physics., plus a pass in the science practical assessment (if applicable).
For students not offering
Further Mathematics, the typical offer is Mathematics (A*), Physics (A*), third A level (A)
IB: 38 points, including 7 in Higher Level Mathematics and 6 in Higher Level Physics
Degree of Bachelor of Science (BSc)
3 years full time (30 weeks per academic year)
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
£9,000 per year - find out more about fees and funding
Other course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. For further information on the typical additional costs you should contact the department administering the course.
This information is applicable for 2017 entry.