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BSc|Undergraduate

Applied Mathematics and Physics

Entry year
Academic Year 2025/26
Entry requirements
AAB/A*BB
Duration
3 years (Full-time)
UCAS code
GF13

This degree combines the best aspects of the separate mathematics and physics degrees, offering enhanced flexibility, increased choice and the opportunity to pursue some of the most interesting and relevant questions that are pervasive in society, technology, the world and, indeed, the universe.

Mathematics graduates have the fifth highest employment rate of any degree subject in the UK and physics, the twelfth. Thus this degree provides a unique combination of factors: pure science with infinite intrigue awaiting a curious mind, and a hugely valuable and employable skill set enabling a broad range of possible future careers.

Physics at Queen's was ranked 3rd in the country for research intensity in the United Kingdom's most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise as published by the Times Higher Education.

Applied Mathematics and Physics highlights

Global Opportunities

We participate in the IAESTE and Turing student exchange programmes, which enable students to obtain work experience in companies and universities throughout the world.

Professional Accreditations

This degree is recognised by the Institute of Physics (IoP).

Industry Links

All students in the school have the option to include a year in industry as part of their studies. This is a fantastic opportunity to see Physics and Mathematics at work in the real world, and to enhance your career prospects at the same time. Graduate employers include: BT; Seagate; Allstate; Randox; Andor; Civil Service.

Career Development

87% of Maths students are in graduate employment or further study 15 months after graduation (11th in the UK).

The most recent HESA data shows that over 95% of QUB physics graduates are in employment or further study 15 months after graduation.

World Class Facilities

The school has its own dedicated teaching centre which houses lecture and group-study rooms, a hugely popular student social area and state-of-the-art computer and laboratory facilities. The centre is an exciting hub for our students and is situated directly adjacent to the Lanyon Building on the main university campus. This makes us the only school with a dedicated teaching space right at the heart of the university.

Internationally Renowned Experts

All of our faculty staff are research scientists in their own right; in the 2021 REF peer-review exercise, Physics Research Power was in the top 20 in the UK and Mathematics Research has the 11th highest impact in the UK.

Student Experience

In the 2020 National Student Survey, the Applied Maths and Physics degree had a 100% student satisfaction rating.

School has the 3rd highest postgraduate research student satisfaction in the university.

In the 2023 National Student Survey physics scored above the benchmark in 6 out of 7 themes with a 94.9% positivity score on how well staff explained things.

The School of Mathematics and Physics was 3rd of 15 schools in the University in overall NSS score.

Further Study Opportunities

Placement Year:
Students can take an optional placement year between years 2/3 of their course. Completion of an approved placement will be acknowledged in your final degree certificate with the addition of the words "with placement year".

Student Testimonials

Course Structure

Course Content

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

Stage 1

At Stage 1, students must take the four compulsory modules.

Stage 2

At Stage 2, students must take four compulsory modules plus two optional modules as agreed by an advisor of studies.

Stage 3

At Stage 3, students must take module totalling 120 units as agreed by an advisor of studies. The selection must include at least two modules from maths and two for physics, as well as a project from one of the two subjects.

People teaching you

Reader, School of Mathematics and Physics

School of Mathematics and Phys
Dr Kar is a Reader in Physics and is an internationally recognised expert in the areas of high-intensity laser-plasma interaction. His main focus is on the development and optimisation of laser-driven ion and neutron sources for their wide-ranging applications in Science, security and healthcare.

Associate Director of Education for Mathematics

School of Maths & Physics
Dr Huettemann is a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics with research interests in homological algebra, graded algebra and K-theory.

Contact Teaching Hours

Large Group Teaching

9 (hours maximum)
9 hours of lectures

Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial

2 (hours maximum)
2 hours of physics and mathematics tutorials/assignment classes (or later, project supervision).

Personal Study

18 (hours maximum)
15-18 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities, homeworks etc.

Medium Group Teaching

5 (hours maximum)
5 hours of mathematics/physics and computer workshops each week in level 1, with an average of 4 hours of practical work per week in Level 2 plus mathematical study classes.

Learning and Teaching

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.

The BSc in Applied Mathematics and Physics provides a range of learning experiences which enable students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:

  • Computer based modules

    These provide students with the opportunity to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts.

  • E-learning technologies

    Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Canvas. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree programme through the use of, for example, interactive support materials and web-based learning activities.

  • Laboratory physics

    All students will undertake experimental physics as part of their degree. Students normally work in assigned pairs in the laboratory, with submitted reports and findings individually assessed. As part of this work students will become proficient in using Excel for analysing data and Word for laboratory reports.

  • Lectures

    These introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).

  • Personal Tutor

    Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Level 1 and Level 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.

  • Self-directed study

    This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.

  • Supervised projects

    In final year, students will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology that they have chosen. Students will receive support from a supervisor who will guide them in terms of how to carry out research and who will provide feedback on at least 2 occasions during the write up stage.

  • Tutorials

    Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers.

Assessment

The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which may be accessed online via the School website.

  • Student Tutorial Questions/ Lecture Assignments

    This involves the completion and submission of example problems on a weekly (tutorial) or three-weekly (assignment) basis as answered by individual students. These are submitted by students by an appropriate deadline and assessed, with the mark awarded contributing to the continuous assessment element of the module mark. The mark awarded reflects accuracy and clarity of the submitted answers together with understanding of the subject matter. Consistent with employer feedback, some modules also require students to prepare and make a small group presentations on a pre-assigned topic. Such group activities are also assessed, with the mark awarded contributing to the continuous assessment element of the module mark. To aid such exercises all students in their first year are given instruction and guidance on making successful presentations.
  • Laboratory and Computational Skills

    All physics students are required to learn and understand the basic concepts of experimental physics. This involves understanding the basics of measurements, accuracy and error analysis; being able to understand and (in later levels) assess different methods of performing experimental measurements; reporting experimental findings and comparing them with prior knowledge of expectations based on physical laws. Assessment tales place through short laboratory reports or presentations, for which instruction is given. Additionally, all students will be given training in software coding using computer languages appropriate for scientific investigations, and this is assessed through worksheets and assignments.
  • Examinations

    Most modules require the sitting of an unseen examination, to assess individual understanding of mathematical and physical concepts and the ability to tackle problems in the areas specific to the taught modules.
  • Computer Based Assessment

    Some modules use online quizzes/tests as part of the module assessment. This tests basic knowledge, understanding and problem solving.

Feedback

As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted.
  • Face to face comment. This may include occasions when students make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which students can review in their own time.
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
  • Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work.

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Modules

Modules

The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2023/24). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

    Foundation Physics (40 credits)
    Scientific Skills (20 credits)
  • Year 2

    Core Modules

    Linear Algebra (20 credits)

    Optional Modules

    Astrophysics I (20 credits)
    Classical Mechanics (20 credits)
    Metric Spaces (20 credits)
    Group Theory (20 credits)
    Analysis (20 credits)
  • Year 3

    Core Modules

    Optional Modules

    Physics in Medicine (20 credits)
    Functional Analysis (20 credits)
    Astrophysics II (20 credits)
    Quantum Fields (20 credits)
    Classical Fields (20 credits)
    Numerical Analysis (20 credits)
    Rings and Modules (20 credits)
    Dynamical Systems (20 credits)
    Quantum Theory (20 credits)

Entrance requirements

A level requirements

A (Mathematics) AB (Physics)
OR
A* (Mathematics) BB (Physics)

A maximum of one BTEC/OCR Single Award or AQA Extended Certificate will be accepted as part of an applicant's portfolio of qualifications with a Distinction* being equated to a grade A at A-level and a Distinction being equated to a grade B at A-level.

Irish leaving certificate requirements

H2H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 in Mathematics and H3 in Physics

Access Course

Successful completion of Access Course with a minimum of 80% in each Level 3 module. Must be relevant Access Course with substantial Mathematics and Physics modules (eg Engineering)

International Baccalaureate Diploma

34 points overall including 6 (Mathematics) 6 5 at Higher Level including Physics. If not offered at Higher Level/GCSE then Standard Level grade 4 in English would be accepted.

Graduate

A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree, provided any subject requirements are also met.

Note

All applicants must have GCSE English Language grade C/4 or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

How we choose our students

Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Mathematics and Physics. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.

Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.

For entry last year, applicants for programmes in the School of Mathematics and Physics offering A-level/BTEC Level 3 qualifications must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language and Mathematics), though this profile may change from year to year depending on the demand for places. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.

Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS may also be considered. The offer for repeat candidates may be one grade higher than for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.

Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of the overall BTEC grade awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.

For applicants offering the Irish Leaving Certificate, please note that performance at Irish Junior Certificate (IJC) is taken into account. For last year’s entry, applicants for this degree must have had a minimum of five IJC grades at C/Merit. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of Leaving Certificate subjects can be satisfied.

Applicants offering other qualifications will also be considered. The same GCSE (or equivalent) profile is usually expected of those candidates offering other qualifications.

The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of degree courses in the School of Mathematics and Physics, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.

A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.

Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview.

If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.

If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (admissions@qub.ac.uk), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.

International Students

Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

English Language Requirements

An IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes

INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.

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Careers

Career Prospects

Introduction

Studying for a degree in Applied Mathematics and Physics at Queen’s will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including mathematics.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, 5 years after graduation, Maths and Physics graduates earn 15-20 per cent more on average than other graduates (IFS 2018) and are the 3rd and 4th highest earners compared to all other subjects.

Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plus initiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.

Physics and Maths graduates are highly sought in industries such as business consultancy, finance, business, insurance, taxation and accountancy, where their problem-solving skills and numeracy are highly valued. Graduates also find employment in scientific careers such as medical physics, biotechnology, electronics, telecommunications, computer programming, optics, aerospace, computation and nuclear technology.
http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/degreeplus/

What employers say

Degree Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,750
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,750
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250
EU Other 3 £25,300
International £25,300

1EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

The tuition fees quoted above are for the 2024/25 academic year and are a guide only. In addition, all tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase in each year of the course. Fees quoted relate to a single year of study unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.

Additional course costs

All essential software will be provided by the University, for use on University facilities, however for some software, students may choose to buy a version for home use.

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

How do I fund my study?

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.

Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.

Scholarships

Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at www.qub.ac.uk/Study/international-students/international-scholarships.

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Apply

How to Apply

Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.

When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2025 from early September 2024.

The advisory closing date for the receipt of applications for entry in 2025 is still to be confirmed by UCAS but is normally in late January (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.

Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2025) subject to the availability of places. If you apply for 2025 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.

Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen's for entry to this course until 30 June 2025. If you apply for 2025 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.

Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/

Apply via UCAS

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students

  1. Applying through UCAS
    Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2025.
  2. Applying direct
    The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
  3. Applying through agents and partners
    The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.

Download Undergraduate Prospectus