Introduction to the Course
The Physics course is organised into teaching units, each of which is freestanding and builds upon work carried out in GCSEs. There are a total of 5 teaching units in Year 12 and 4 in Year 13, one of which is an option. There are also core practicals that must be carried out in both Year 12 and 13. These will be assessed in the written examinations.
If you are already interested in the Physics topics in your science studies at GCSE then do consider studying Physics. If you would like to know more about fundamental ideas such as quantum mechanics, relativity and cosmology, then Physics may be for you. If you are good at Maths and if you enjoy finding mathematical solutions to problems, then studying A Level Physics is worth serious consideration.
Standard entry requirements including: GCSE Core and Additional Science (grade 6) or GCSE Physics (grade 6). Mathematics (grade 7) is also required, due to the mathematical content involved within Physics.
Students will study measurements and their errors, particles and radiation, waves, mechanics and materials and electricity in Year 12. Whilst in Year 13, students will study topics including further mechanics, thermal physics, fields and their consequences, nuclear physics and an option from astrophysics, medical physics, engineering physics, turning points in physics.
Paper 1: A 2-hour paper that is worth 34%. It is a split of multiple choice, short answer and long answer questions. It is based on topics 1-6.
Paper 2: A 2-hour paper that is worth 34%. It is split into multiple choice, short and long answer questions. It is based on the later topics.
Paper 3: A 2-hour written paper. It is worth 32%. It contains questions based on practical skills and data analysis. There is also a section of long answer questions for the option topic.
Students will also be given a practical endorsement grade for Physics. This is separate to the A Level and will not affect the overall grade. Students will be assessed by the school and will be awarded a pass or fail for this element of the course.
Future Career Progression
Other subjects that can be studies with Physics are: Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology. These are popular useful companion subjects for Physics. A Level Physics opens the way to studies and careers in Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, Chemistry, Radiography and Medical Physics, Medicine, Dentistry, Materials Science, Biochemistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Science, Food Science, Physiotherapy, Materials Science, Geography, Geophysics etc. Physics is an essential companion subject for students studying other Physical Science based subjects including all forms of Engineering. Physics is also desirable to a wide range of non-scientific careers such as Finance, Banking and Actuary related careers.