A Level Physics
It is strongly recommended that those studying Physics also pursue Mathematics beyond GCSE.

Not doing so may restrict your post-A level options. If you are considering going on to study for a degree in Physics or engineering you MUST study Mathematics to a full A level.

Physics encompasses the study of the universe from the largest galaxies to the smallest subatomic particles. It relies on mathematical and experimental data to formulate the laws of nature that govern the world around us. Moreover, it’s the basis of many other sciences, including chemistry, oceanography, seismology, and astronomy (and can be applied to biology or medical science).

Why study this subject at A-Level?

Physics is an intellectually challenging, but rewarding subject in which students apply logical thought to develop problem solving skills. The analytical skills developed will last a lifetime and make physicists versatile and adaptable.

The A level course allows flexibility of interest for those who may go on to further study in Physics and also to those who go on to study Chemistry, Medicine, Engineering and other allied subjects. It is designed to provide a broad scientific base.

Enrichment

Beyond the classroom there are a wide range of opportunities: we have run several trips to CERN in Geneva and advanced masterclasses at Lancaster University.
In addition, there are many lectures provided by local universities and students are encouraged to attend. We also prepare students for the Physics Olympiad papers and have had great success in recent years.

Summary of the course

Year 12

In Year 12 we will build on some of the ideas encountered at GCSE and introduce new ideas and concepts not covered before.

The year 12 course will cover:

  • Measurements & their errors;
  • Particles & radiation;
  • Waves;
  • Mechanics & materials;
  • Electricity

Year 13

The A level course will continue in year 13 where the following topics will be studied:

  • Further mechanics & thermal physics
  • Fields & their consequences
  • Nuclear physics

Students will also study ONE of the following options:

  • Astrophysics
  • Medical physics
  • Engineering physics
  • Turning points in physics
  • Electronics

How is the qualification assessed?

At the end of year 13 students will then sit three written examinations, each 2 hours long.

  • Paper 1 (34% A-level) will examine sections 1-5 and the first part of section 6
  • Paper 2 (34% of A-level) will examine the second half of section 6, together with sections 7 & 8
  • Paper 3 (32% of A-level) will examine practical skills & data analysis, together with whichever option topic they have studied.

Students going on to the full A level will also be required to complete 12 practical tasks, as set out by AQA, throughout the two years of the course.

physics-a-level

Entry Requirements

Applicants will require at least a Grade B in GCSE Physics (or Core and Additional Science). Due to the lack of some subject material, those entering with just Core & Additional Science should ideally have at least a grade A in these. If you do not achieve this grade then you will need to convince the Faculty Leader or equivalent teacher of your suitability for the course.

2017 Specification
AQA Physics 7407 7408

Component 1 (34%)

2 hours

Component 2 (34%)

2 hours

Component 3 (32%)

2 hours

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