Undergraduate Course

BSc Mathematics with Physics

(Including Foundation Year)

BSc Mathematics with Physics

Overview

The details
Mathematics with Physics (Including Foundation Year)
G1F5
October 2024
Full-time
4 years
Colchester Campus
Essex Pathways

Our BSc Mathematics with Physics (including foundation year) is open to Home and EU students. It will be suitable for you if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entrance requirements for the three-year version of this course and you want a programme that increases your subject knowledge as well as improves your English language and academic skills.

This four-year course includes a foundation year (Year Zero), followed by a further three years of study. During your Year Zero, you study four academic subjects relevant to your chosen course as well as a compulsory English language and academic skills module.

You are an Essex student from day one, a member of our global community based at the most internationally diverse campus university in the UK.

After successful completion of Year Zero in our Essex Pathways Department, you progress to complete your course with the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science.

Interactions between mathematics and physics have led to a range of weird and wonderful advances in the sciences, from elementary particle theory to general relativity and non-Euclidean geometry, to the understanding of chaos. At Essex, your ways of thinking will be shifted as we teach you about the cosmos, the symmetries of quarks and the complexities of quantum physics.

On our BSc Mathematics with Physics course you can study a wide range of topics, such as:

  • Pure mathematics, including geometry, algebra, analysis and number theory
  • Quantum mechanics, electronics and analytical mechanics
  • Further applied mathematical topics such cryptography, mathematical modelling, differential equations and dynamical systems

As well as these mathematical topics, your degree will develop your programming skills in languages such as Python, and you will learn to solve sophisticated problems using computational toolkits such as Matlab, Maple and R.

This course can lead to employment opportunities within business, commerce, education, engineering, government service, industry and research as well as from the wider economy.

Why we're great.
  • 85% of our School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science graduates are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2023).
  • We’re 13th in the UK for Mathematics in the Guardian University Guide 2024.
  • We are continually broadening the array of expertise in our School, giving you a wide range of options and letting you tailor your degree to your interests.

Our expert staff

As well as being world-class academics, our staff are award-winning teachers. Many of our academics have won national or regional awards for lecturing, and many of them are qualified and accredited teachers – something which is very rare at a university.

Our School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science is genuinely innovative and student-focused. Our research groups are working on a broad range of collaborative areas tackling real-world issues. Here are a few examples:

  • Our data scientists carefully consider how not to lie, and how not to get lied to with data. Interpreting data correctly is especially important because much of our data science research is applied directly or indirectly to social policies, including health, care and education.
  • We do practical research with financial data (for example, assessing the risk of collapse of the UK's banking system) as well as theoretical research in financial instruments such as insurance policies or asset portfolios.
  • We also research how physical processes develop in time and space. Applications of this range from modelling epilepsy to modelling electronic cables.
  • Our optimisation experts work out how to do the same job with less resource, or how to do more with the same resource.
  • Our pure maths group are currently working on two new funded projects entitled ‘Machine learning for recognising tangled 3D objects' and ‘Searching for gems in the landscape of cyclically presented groups'.
  • We also do research into mathematical education and use exciting technologies such as electroencephalography or eye tracking to measure exactly what a learner is feeling. Our research aims to encourage the implementation of ‘the four Cs' of modern education, which are critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

Specialist facilities

  • We have a Maths Support Centre, which offers help to students on a range of mathematical problems. Throughout term-time, we can chat through mathematical problems either on a one-to-one or small group basis
  • We have a dedicated social and study space for maths students in the School, which is situated in the STEM Centre
  • We host regular events and seminars throughout the year
  • Our students run a lively Mathematics Society, an active and social group where you can explore your interest in your subject with other students

Your future

Clear thinkers are required in every profession, so the successful mathematician has an extensive choice of potential careers.

Mathematics students are in demand from a wide range of employers in a host of occupations, including financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy. The Council for Mathematical Sciences offers further information on careers in mathematics.

Our recent graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of high-profile roles including:

  • Chartered accountancy
  • Investment consultants
  • Accounts technicians
  • Stock lending analysts

We also work with our University's Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

“My current role is as a Higher Statistical Officer for the Department for Education. My Essex mathematics degree was pivotal for securing this role. The interview process involved technical questions as well as competencies – most of which my examples were based on projects I completed during my degree. The part of my job I enjoy the most is writing code and developing my skills. It’s extremely satisfying creating a bespoke solution that improves the cost/timeliness/automation of a previously poor process. I also enjoy the contextual aspect of my work. The figures I am producing are helping teachers and governors and therefore ultimately improving education for children which I am passionate about.”

Chloe Gates, BSc Mathematics, 2017

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

UK and EU applicants:

All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you

  • think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
  • have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
  • are returning to university after some time away from education; or
  • are looking for more support during the transition into university study.

Standard offer:

Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.

Examples of the above tariff may include:

  • A-levels: DDD
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP
  • T-levels: Pass with E in core

For this course all applicants must also hold GCSE Maths and Science at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent). We may be able to consider a pass in OFQUAL regulated Level 2 Functional Skills Maths where you cannot meet the requirements for Maths at GCSE level. However, you are advised to try to retake GCSE Mathematics if possible as this will better prepare you for university study and future employment.

If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:

We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.

You will still need to meet our GCSE requirements.

International applicants:

Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

English language shelf-life

Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Pre-sessional English courses

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Pending English language qualifications

You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email ugquery@essex.ac.uk.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College

Structure

Course structure

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Essential Mathematics
(30 CREDITS)

Want to know the basic mathematical techniques of algebra? To understand calculus? To apply methods of differentiation and integration to a range of functions? Build the basic, then more advanced, mathematical skills needed for future study. Learn to solve relevant problems, choosing the most suitable method for solution.

View Essential Mathematics on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Research and Academic Development Skills
(30 CREDITS)

This blended-learning module is designed to support students in their academic subject disciplines and to strengthen their confidence in key skills areas such as: academic writing, research, academic integrity, collaborative and reflective practices. The students are supported through the use of subject-specific materials tailored to their chosen degrees with alignment of assessments between academic subject modules and the skills module.

View Research and Academic Development Skills on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Mathematical Methods and Statistics
(30 CREDITS)

Develop your problem solving skills in this module, as you are introduced to Statistical and Mathematical concepts with a particular focus on mechanics. You become familiar with R software, one of the most widely used statistical analysis software in the world, and learn how to use it to analyse and interpret data. You study simple concepts and techniques like data description and distribution; before moving on to more complex topics and theories including Newton’s laws of motion and the concepts of Mechanical energy. While also covering everything from probability rules and hypothesis testing to advanced algebra – you will be well equipped to present your solutions and findings to an audience with no specialist knowledge of Statistics and Mechanics.

View Mathematical Methods and Statistics on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: CORE

Computer Programming
(30 CREDITS)

How do you test and evaluate the operation of simple computer programs? Or develop a program using tools in the Python programming language? Study the principles of procedural computing programming. Examine basic programming concepts, structures and methodologies. Understand good program design, learn to correct coding and practice debugging techniques.

View Computer Programming on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Statistics I
(15 CREDITS)

How do you apply the addition rule of probability? Or construct appropriate diagrams to illustrate data sets? Learn the basics of probability (combinatorial analysis and axioms of probability), conditional probability and independence, and probability distributions. Understand how to handle data using descriptive statistics and gain experience of R software.

View Statistics I on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Matrices and Complex Numbers
(15 CREDITS)

You'll be introduced to a range of important concepts which are used in all areas of mathematics and statistics. This module is structured in such a way that during learning sessions you'll develop good practical understanding of these concepts via discussion and exercises, and have an opportunity to ask questions. Theory is introduced via recorded videos and the corresponding notes published on Moodle, and also via recommendations of textbooks. The contact hours are dedicated to interactive activities such as lab exercises and flipped lecture quizzes; also you will have some additional formative tests in Moodle.

View Matrices and Complex Numbers on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Mechanics and Relativity
(15 CREDITS)

Want to understand Newtonian Dynamics? Interested in developing applications of mathematical ideas to study it? Enhance your skills and knowledge in the context of fundamental physical ideas that have been central to the development of mathematics. Analyse aspects of technology and gain experience in the use of computer packages.

View Mechanics and Relativity on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Mathematical and Computational Modelling
(15 CREDITS)

This module introduces you to programming skills in the context of a range of mathematical modelling topics. Mathematical modelling skills will be an important focus alongside learning how to structure and implement codes in both Matlab and R. A key part of the module will be investigative open-ended computational modelling studies at both the group and individual level.

View Mathematical and Computational Modelling on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Discrete Mathematics
(15 CREDITS)

This module will provide you with a foundation of knowledge on the mathematics of sets and relations. You will develop an appreciation of mathematical proof techniques, including proof by induction.

View Discrete Mathematics on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY

Foundations of Electronics I
(15 CREDITS)

This module is one of two concerned with scientific and engineering foundations on which electronics is based. All electronics components are based on physical principles that relate voltage, current flow and the storage or loss of energy. All the theory we need to learn about how circuits behave is based on the fact that electric charge cannot be created or destroyed, and that the energy of each electron just depends on where it is, and how fast it is moving. How charges move in materials depends on their crystal structures. From basic ideas, the main principles of electronics are built up so that they can be used in the wider study of electronics to solve problems.

View Foundations of Electronics I on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 07: CORE

Calculus
(30 CREDITS)

This module will allow you to build your knowledge of differentiation and integration, how you can solve first and second order differential equations, Taylor Series and more.

View Calculus on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 08: COMPULSORY

Mathematics Careers and Employability
(0 CREDITS)

What skills do you need to succeed during your studies? And what about after university? How will you realise your career goals? Develop your transferable skills and experiences to create your personal profile. Reflect on and plan your ongoing personal development, with guidance from your personal advisor within the department.

View Mathematics Careers and Employability on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Linear Algebra
(15 CREDITS)

How do you prove simple properties of linear space from axioms? Can you check whether a set of vectors is a basis? How do you change a basis and recalculate the coordinates of vectors and the matrices of mapping? Study abstract linear algebra, learning to understand advanced abstract mathematical definitions.

View Linear Algebra on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Real Analysis
(15 CREDITS)

How can we rigorously discuss notions of infinity and the infinitely small? When do limits and derivatives of functions make sense? This module introduces the mathematics which enables calculus to work, with the epsilon-and-delta definition of limits as its cornerstone. Fundamental theorems are proved about sequences and series of real numbers, and about continuous and differentiable functions of a single real variable.

View Real Analysis on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Statistics II
(15 CREDITS)

In this module you'll be introduced to the basics of probability and random variables. Topics you will discuss include distribution theory, estimation and Maximum Likelihood estimators, hypothesis testing, basic linear regression and multiple linear regression implemented in R.

View Statistics II on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Vector Calculus
(15 CREDITS)

How do you define gradient, divergence and curl? Study the classical theory of vector calculus. Develop the two central theorems by outlining the proofs, then examining various applications and examples. Understand how to apply the ideas you have studied.

View Vector Calculus on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Analytical Mechanics
(15 CREDITS)

This module concerns the general description and analysis of the motion of systems of particles acted on by forces. Assuming a basic familiarity with Newton's laws of motion and their application in simple situations, you will develop the advanced techniques necessary to study more complicated, multi-particle systems. You will also consider the beautiful extensions of Newton's equations due to Lagrange and Hamilton, which allow for simplified treatments of many interesting problems and provide the foundation for the modern understanding of dynamics.

View Analytical Mechanics on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY

Ordinary Differential Equations
(15 CREDITS)

The subject of ordinary differential equations is a very important branch of Applied Mathematics. Many phenomena from Physics, Biology, Engineering, Chemistry, Finance, among others, may be described using ordinary differential equations. To understand the underlying processes, we have to find and interpret the solutions to these equations. The last part of the module is devoted to the study of nonlinear differential equations and stability. This module provides an overview of standard methods for solving single ordinary differential equations and systems of ordinary differential equations, with an introduction to the underlying theory.

View Ordinary Differential Equations on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 07: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 08: COMPULSORY

Mathematics Careers and Employability
(0 CREDITS)

What skills do you need to succeed during your studies? And what about after university? How will you realise your career goals? Develop your transferable skills and experiences to create your personal profile. Reflect on and plan your ongoing personal development, with guidance from your personal advisor within the department.

View Mathematics Careers and Employability on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Complex Variables
(15 CREDITS)

Can you identify curves and regions in the complex plane defined by simple formulae? How do you evaluate residues at pole singularities? Study complex analysis, learning to apply the Residue Theorem to the calculation of real integrals.

View Complex Variables on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Quantum Mechanics
(15 CREDITS)

University of Essex enjoy breaking away from tradition. In this module you will break from “classical physics” and gain a conceptual understanding in quantum physics. You will develop skills in solving quantum mechanical problems associated with atomic and molecular systems.

View Quantum Mechanics on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

MA829-6-AU or MA830-6-SP
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

Level 6 Maths option from list
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 05: OPTIONAL

Level 6 Maths option from list
(45 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY

Mathematics Careers and Employability
(0 CREDITS)

What skills do you need to succeed during your studies? And what about after university? How will you realise your career goals? Develop your transferable skills and experiences to create your personal profile. Reflect on and plan your ongoing personal development, with guidance from your personal advisor within the department.

View Mathematics Careers and Employability on our Module Directory

Teaching

  • Undergraduate students in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science typically attend three taught hours per module per week, for example, this could be two hours of lectures and one class/lab every week, but this will vary dependent upon the module.
  • Take a mathematics careers and employability module, where you compile a portfolio of skills and experience

Assessment

  • Your final mark is a weighted combination of marks gained on coursework (eg homework problem sheets or tests) and your summer examinations
  • Your first year of study does not count towards your final degree class
  • Third-year students have the opportunity to complete a full-year or one-term project

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,250 per year

International fee

£19,500 per year

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home/UK fees and funding information

International fees and funding information

What's next

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full details on how to apply can be found on the filling in your UCAS undergraduate application web page.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are 'L' and 'S' respectively.

You can find further information on how to apply, including information on transferring from another university, applying if you are not currently at a school or college, and applying for readmission on our How to apply and entry requirements page.

Offer Holder Days

If you receive an undergraduate offer to study with us in October 2024 and live in the UK, you will receive an email invitation to book onto one of our Offer Holder Days. Our Colchester Campus Offer Holder Days run from February to May 2024 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our Southend Campus events run in April and May. These events provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. To support your attendance, we are offering a travel bursary, allowing you to claim up to £150 as reimbursement for travel expenses. For further information about Offer Holder Days, including terms and conditions and eligibility criteria for our travel bursary, please visit our webpage.

If you are an overseas offer-holder, you will be invited to attend one of our virtual events. However, you are more than welcome to join us at one of our in-person Offer Holder Days if you are able to - we will let you know in your invite email how you can do this.

A sunny day with banners flying on Colchester Campus Square 4.

Visit Colchester Campus

Set within 200 acres of award-winning parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.


View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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