Mathematics with Physics (Including Placement Year)

Staff member? Login here

Academic Year of Entry: 2023/24
Course overview
(BSc) Bachelor of Science
Mathematics with Physics (Including Placement Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Mathematical Sciences
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research


Professional accreditation

This programme will meet the educational requirements of the Chartered Mathematician designation, awarded by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, when it is followed by subsequent training and experience in employment to obtain equivalent competences to those specified by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for taught masters degrees.

Admission criteria

A-levels: ABB, including Mathematics and Physics
Please note we are unable to accept A-level Use of Mathematics in place of A-level Mathematics

BTEC: DDD, only in conjunction with A-level Mathematics and Physics.

IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655. Either must include Higher Level Mathematics and Physics grade 5. We will accept 5 in either Higher Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Higher Level Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

T-levels: Distinction, only in conjunction with A-level Mathematics and Physics.

What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?

If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.

What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.

You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here

If you are a mature student, further information is here

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

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.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Staff photo
Prof Stephen Langdon


Brunel University London

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 23 October 2023 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  MA108-4-SP-CO  Statistics I  Core  15  15 
02  MA114-4-AU-CO  Matrices and Complex Numbers  Core  15  15 
03  MA105-4-SP-CO  Mechanics and Relativity  Compulsory  15  15 
04  MA185-4-AU-CO  Mathematical and Computational Modelling  Compulsory  15  15 
05  MA181-4-AU-CO  Discrete Mathematics  Compulsory  15  15 
06  CE163-4-AU-CO  Foundations of Electronics I  Compulsory  15  15 
07  MA101-4-FY-CO  Calculus  Core  30  30 
08  MA199-4-FY-CO  Mathematics Careers and Employability  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  MA201-5-AU-CO  Linear Algebra  Compulsory  15  15 
02  MA203-5-AU-CO  Real Analysis  Compulsory  15  15 
03  MA200-5-AU-CO  Statistics II  Compulsory  15  15 
04  MA210-5-AU-CO  Vector Calculus  Compulsory  15  15 
05  MA222-5-SP-CO  Analytical Mechanics  Compulsory  15  15 
06  MA202-5-SP-CO  Ordinary Differential Equations  Compulsory  15  15 
07    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
08  MA199-5-FY-CO  Mathematics Careers and Employability  Compulsory 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  MA100-6-FY-CO  Placement Year  Compulsory  120  120 

Year 3 - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  MA302-6-AU-CO  Complex Variables  Compulsory  15  15 
02  MA225-6-SP-CO  Quantum Mechanics  Compulsory  15  15 
03    MA829-6-AU or MA830-6-SP  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
04    Level 6 Maths option from list  Optional  30  30 
05    Level 6 Maths option from list  Optional  45  45 
06  MA199-6-FY-CO  Mathematics Careers and Employability  Compulsory 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

  • To equip students with the knowledge and skills that are currently in demand in mathematically and physical science oriented employment in business, commerce, industry, government service, the field of education and in the wider economy.

  • To provide students with a foundation for further study and research.

  • To produce graduates who are mathematically literate and capable of producing a logical argument.

  • To enable students to acquire a broad understanding of mathematics.

  • To provide teaching which is informed and enhanced by the research activities of the staff.

  • To develop the students' ability to make an effective contribution to team-based activity.

  • To encourage students to adopt an investigative approach and develop independent study skills in order to ensure their continuing professional development.

  • Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

    On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

    A: Knowledge and understanding

    A1: Knowledge and understanding of the basic mathematical methods and techniques of linear mathematics, calculus and statistics that underpin the study of more advanced mathematical ideas.

    A2: Knowledge and understanding of some of the ideas and methods used in mathematical proof of results in algebra, analysis, and discrete mathematics and familiarity with some specific examples.

    A3: Knowledge and understanding of the power and potential pitfalls of computer use and mathematical computer packages, and experience in their use.

    A4: Knowledge and understanding of the use of mathematics for modelling and as an investigative tool for the solution of practical problems. An appreciation of the importance of assumptions.

    A5: Knowledge and understanding of physics

    A101: An experience-based understanding of work roles is developed through the placement year.

    Learning methods

    Lectures are the principal method of delivery for the concepts and principles involved in A1 - A5.
    Students are also directed to reading from textbooks and material available online.

    In some modules, understanding is enhanced through the production of a written report.

    Understanding is reinforced by means of classes (A1 - A5), laboratories (A3, A4) and assignments (A1 - A5).
    A101 is acquired through a placement year at a host organisation. The details of the learning/teaching methods are included on each training agreement and are specific to an individual student.

    Assessment methods

    Achievement of knowledge outcomes is assessed primarily through unseen closed-book examinations and also, in some modules, through marked coursework, laboratory reports, statistical assignments, project reports and oral examinations.

    Regular problem sheets provide formative assessment in most modules.
    A101 is demonstrated by successful completion of the Placement Year.

    B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

    B1: Identify an appropriate method to solve a specific mathematical problem.

    B2: Analyse a given mathematical problem and select the most appropriate tools for its solution.

    B3: Analyse a problem in terms of physical principles.

    Learning methods

    The basis for intellectual skills is provided in lectures, and the skills are developed by means of recommended reading, guided and independent study, assignments and project work.

    B1 and B2 are developed through exercises supported by classes.

    B1 - B2 are all important aspects of the projects which constitute a part of some module, and the optional final year project.

    Assessment methods

    Achievement of intellectual skills is assessed primarily through unseen closed-book examinations, and also through marked assignments and project work.

    C: Practical skills

    C1: Use computational tools and packages.

    C2: The ability to apply a rigorous, analytic, highly numerate approach to a problem.

    Learning methods

    The practical skills of mathematics are developed in exercise classes, laboratory classes, assignments and project work.

    C1 is acquired through the learning of at least one programming language and the use of a number of computer packages, as a part of the teaching of module for which they are relevant.

    C2 is acquired and enhanced throughout the course.

    Assessment methods

    Achievement of practical skills is assessed through marked coursework, project reports and oral examinations.

    D: Key skills

    D1: Communicate effectively, both mathematical arguments and textual accounts of ideas.

    D2: Use appropriate IT facilities as a tool in the analysis of mathematical problems.

    D3: Use mathematical techniques correctly.

    D4: Analyse complex problems and find effective solutions.

    D5: Organise activity and manage time in the course of study.

    Learning methods

    D1 is practised throughout the course in the writing of solutions to mathematical problems, both for assessment and as exercises and (in some modules) writing reports or projects.

    D1 and D2 are developed in group and individual project work.

    D2 is developed through the use of computer packages in a number of modules.

    D3 - D5 are developed in exercises and assignments throughout the course.

    Assessment methods

    D1 is assessed through examinations, coursework and oral examinations.

    D2 is assessed primarily through coursework.

    Assessment of the key skills D3 - D5 is intrinsic to subject-based assessment.

    The assessment of the Capstone Project includes specific allocations of credit for the quality of presentations (D1 and D2).


    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 a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or 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 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.


    If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing

    If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

    If you think there might be an error on this page, please contact the Course Records Team by emailing