BSc (Hons) Mathematical Physics

The course

UCAS code
4 years
Delivery type


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This programme draws on the presence of the largest mathematical physics group in Scotland to deliver a programme that combines the core material of an excellent mathematics degree together with the precise mathematical language of 21st century mathematical physics. The skills acquired will be of great use to those wishing to carry on with postgraduate study and will also be highly valued by employers interested in mathematicians who can describe and solve real-world problems.

Global College pathway for this degree

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, have a look at Heriot-Watt Global College, where you can follow an accelerated pathway which will get you onto the second year of this degree.

Course content

Year 1

The core mathematics material includes algebra, calculus, statistics and problem-solving skills. The physics content includes mechanics, fields and forces, and waves and matter. Level 1 has been carefully designed to ease the transition from school to university.

Year 2

Level 2 consolidates and extends the material of level 1 in both pure and applied mathematics/mechanics and introduces the multivariable calculus and vector analysis that will form the mathematical language of the later mathematical physics content. Level 2 also introduces the key concepts of abstraction and formal proof.

Year 3

The core level 3 courses develop mathematical skills and knowledge and introduce the ideas used at the forefront of modern mathematics. Subjects include complex analysis, abstract algebra, applied mathematics and ordinary differential equations. Electromagnetism is studied along with two mathematical physics options chosen from thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, quantum theory and solitons, Lie groups and Lie algebras, and fluid mechanics. These are courses which expand and use the tools of mathematical physics.

Year 4

Level 4 continues to build the solid mathematical background essential in modern mathematical physics, with courses in geometry, functional analysis, pure mathematics, and partial differential equations. The remaining two courses from the mathematical physics options, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, quantum theory and solitons, Lie groups and Lie algebras and fluid mechanics, are followed with a course on special relativity that uses the set of mathematical tools gained throughout the programme. A mathematical physics project is carried out under the supervision of a member of our world-leading mathematical physics research group.

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Work and study

This is what our BSc (Hons) Mathematical Physics students are doing 15 months after graduating:

  • 35% are working
  • 55% are studying
  • 5% are working and studying.


  • The average salary of students 15 months after graduating: £27000
  • The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course: £29000

Potential career paths

  • Information Technology Professionals
  • Natural and social science professionals
  • Science, engineering and technology associate professionals

Entry requirements

Year 1

Standard entry requirements

  • Highers ABBBB (including Mathematics at A and Physics at B)
  • A-Levels BBB – ABB (including Mathematics & Physics at B)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 28 points (with Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level 5)
  • BTEC DDM (including sufficient Mathematics and Physics)

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC (including Mathematics and Physics at B)
  • A-Levels BCC (including Mathematics at B and Physics at C)

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for some Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements

Year 2

  • Advanced Highers AAB (including Mathematics and Physics at A plus excellent Highers)
  • A-Levels AAB (including Mathematics at A and Physics at B)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 30 points (with Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level 6)
  • BTEC DDD (including sufficient Mathematics and Physics)
  • Global College Successful completion of our Science with Accelerator Programme

Additional information

English language requirements

  • If English is not your first language, you have to show that your English is good enough to succeed on your course. Please see our English language requirements.


Tuition fees for 2024 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland International**
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £18,704

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.

** 'International' includes applicants from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in UK. (This does not include students from the Republic of Ireland - see above). Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales

In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible undergraduate students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

  • Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View details about the Heriot-Watt University Bursary

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.