BSc | Undergraduate

Theoretical Physics

Entry year
2019
Entry requirements
ABB
Duration
3 years (Full Time)
UCAS code
F340
  • Overview

    Mathematics is the universal language of science, and a beautiful subject in itself. It is a discipline which also has important applications in industry and commerce, and well-qualified mathematicians and statisticians are in great demand, with a wide choice of careers, making Mathematics an excellent choice as a degree subject. Mathematical Studies at Queen's encompasses three subject areas:

    Applied Mathematics
    Pure Mathematics
    Statistics and Operational Research (SOR)

    In each, the ideas that have been encountered at school are extended and new areas are introduced. It is important to appreciate that what may be understood as either Pure or Applied Mathematics from school experience will differ from the University experience. For this reason, amongst others, Mathematics students usually study both Pure and Applied Mathematics in the first year, with Statistics being a likely third component.
    Queen's offers several different degree programmes involving Mathematics, and there are two types of degree available within these programmes - the three-year BSc and the four-year MSci.

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  • Course content

    Course Structure

    IntroductionThe mathematics programmes at Queen’s offer students the opportunity to tailor their studies to their mathematical interests. We offer a range of modules across the main areas of mathematics: pure mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics and operational research. Pure Mathematics provides the essential tools used in the increasingly numerate science of today, and is continually developing new ones to solve problems at the forefront of research in many disciplines. Applied Mathematics is concerned with the application of Mathematics to the study of the physical universe, including theoretical physics, as well as the social, industrial and commercial world. Statistics is concerned with deriving sound inferences from data.This may be experimental or observational and obtained from investigations of physical or biological phenomena or from the study of the workings of industry, commerce and society. In all areas, computers are used to obtain accurate numerical solutions to the mathematical problems involved.

    The first year, and a sizable fraction of the second year, of the studies is devoted to core mathematics knowledge. During the second, third and (for MSci, students) fourth year, students can choose from a wide range of optional modules. BSc students will carry out an investigation in their third year to gain insight into the practical application of mathematics within a particular context. MSci students will carry out an extended investigation in their fourth year to gain experience of mathematics at the forefront of research.
    Stage 1In the first year of study, most Mathematics students choose to take the six courses on offer within Mathematics

    Students on joint pathways (Physics/Computer Science/Finance) will combine a specific selection of these modules with courses taken from the respective department.

    The courses at Stage 1 lay the foundation for the future study of mathematics, and, through the Mathematical Modelling and Reasoning modules, and the SOR methods module, will also provide insight into how mathematical methods and mathematical thinking relate to real problems.

    Courses are outlined below:

    Analysis and Calculus
    Numbers, Vectors and Matrices
    Foundation Physics
    Scientific Skills
    Stage 2Stage 2 completes the mathematical foundations with three core modules for most mathematics students

    Students can take three optional courses from the following list to start the personalisation of their mathematics study

    Students on joint pathways will take at least two modules outside Mathematics, and the Analysis module does not form part of the core

    Courses are outlined below:

    Classical Mechanics
    Linear Algebra
    Optics, Electricity and Magnetism
    Physics of the Solid State
    Stage 3At this level, the BSc and MSci, pathways separate. BSc students take a project module and at least one other module that assists with the development of skills relevant to their chosen programme. For mathematics students, this module is Computer Algebra. MSci, students take on an investigations module, which develops the research skills needed for the extended Level 4 investigation. In addition, students have the opportunity to develop their understanding of a wide range of mathematical topics, ranging from data mining and financial mathematics to quantum mechanics and algebraic equations

    Student on the joint programmes with Physics and Computer Science will take a selection of modules from both Mathematics and the joint programme. Mathematics with Finance students will take a selection of modules of relevance to finance

    Courses are outlined below:

    Electromagnetic Theory
    Quantum Theory
    Calculus of Variations and Hamiltonian Mechanics
    Tensor Field Theory
    Partial Differential Equations
    Solid State Physics

    People teaching you

    Dr. Jason Greenwood
    Senior Lecturer, School of Mathematics and Physics

    School of Maths and Physics
    Jason is a senior lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Physics and also works within the Centre for Plasma Physics (CPP) and the Centre for Advanced and Interdisciplinary Radiation Research

    Contact Teaching Times

    Large Group Teaching8 (hours maximum)
    8 hours of lectures
    Medium Group Teaching5 (hours maximum)
    5 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week
    Personal Study21 (hours maximum)
    21 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities etc
    Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial2 (hours maximum)
    2 hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week

    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 student 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:

    • Lectures
      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 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

    Assessments associated with this course are outlined below:

    • 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 is provided to all students during their first year induction.

    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
  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    A level requirements
    ABB including Mathematics grade A and Physics grade B
    Irish leaving certificate requirements
    H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H2 in Mathematics and H3 in Physics
    Access Course
    Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 80% with at least 80% in each Mathematics and Physics module and no less than 70% in any module. Must be relevant Access Course.
    International Baccalaureate Diploma
    33 points overall including 6 (Mathematics) 5 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.

    Selection Criteria

    In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.

    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 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 would also be considered. The minimum acceptable is two subjects at A-level plus one at AS though candidates offering this combination will be considered on an individual basis depending on the degree for which they have applied. 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 performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) 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.

    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.

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    International Students

    For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

    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.

    INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

  • Careers

    Career Prospects

    Introduction
    Studying for a degree in Theoretical 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 theoretical physics.

    Although the many of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in teaching, banking and finance, significant numbers develop careers in a wide range of other sectors. The following is a list of the major career sectors that have attracted our graduates in recent years:

    Management Consultancy
    Export Marketing (NI Programme)
    Fast Stream Civil Service
    Varied graduate programmes (Times Top 100 Graduate Recruiters/AGR, Association of Graduate Recruiters UK)
    http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/degreeplus/

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    Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

    Degree plus 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. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

  • Fees and Funding

    Tuition Fees

    Northern Ireland (NI) £4,275
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250
    Other (non-UK) EU £4,275
    International £16,400

    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 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. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.  

    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 final year 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.

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    Theoretical Physics 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.

    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 http://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 http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

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  • Apply

    How and when to 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/apply.

    When to Apply
    UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2019 from 1 September 2018.

    Advisory closing date: 15 January 2019 (18:00).

    Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

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

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

    Apply via UCAS

    After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.

    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 2019.
    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 a prospectus

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