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.
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
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;
- Mechanics & materials;
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:
- Medical physics
- Engineering physics
- Turning points in physics
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.
Applicants will require at least a Grade 6 in GCSE Physics (or Science and Additional Science GCSEs e.g. AQA Trilogy). Due to the lack of some subject material, those entering with just Science & Additional Science should ideally have at least a grade 7 in these.
AQA Physics 7407 7408
Component 1 (34%)
Component 2 (34%)
Component 3 (32%)