You will study many of the recently explored and exciting areas of Physics during this course, topics will cover research into sub-atomic particles (quarks, neutrinos…), explanations about relativity and how the universe came into existence and is evolving.
The course begins by building on many of the topics you will be familiar with at GCSE, and as your Physics knowledge develops we will introduce new topics. There is also an option topic, taken in Year 13, which can be taken from Astrophysics, Medical Physics, Engineering Physics, Electronics or Turning Points in Physics.
The course involves a mixture of practical and theoretical physics, interspersed with demonstrations and discussions. The theoretical work is supported by short pieces of practical work which allow you to develop your understanding. As the course progresses you will develop your ability to solve a range of increasingly complex problems and undertake more demanding experiments. These are key skills no matter what your future career intentions are.
A good GCSE grade in Combined Science or Physics and Mathematics (grade 6 or higher are recommended).
No specific equipment is required but you will be provided with a laboratory book for recording evidence of required practicals and other experimental work. All safety equipment will provided.
Mathematical skills are essential together with the ability to problem solve and work independently. Practical and research skills are developed throughout the course.
A level assessment is by written exam. The exams will test you with a range of questions: multiple choice, short answer, long answer, calculations, practical skills and data analysis:
Three 2 hour papers: Paper 1 covering Year 1 topics and Further Mechanics, Paper 2 covering Thermal Physics, Fields and Nuclear Physics, Paper 3 covering practical skills, data analysis and the Year 13 option topic.
Physics is challenging and highly rewarding, providing you with many skills that you will find useful in a range of subjects or in your future career. Many students continue to study Physics or related courses like Engineering at the UK’s top universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. It is also beneficial for students hoping to continue in any of the sciences, as well as Medicine and Dentistry. The problem-solving and mathematical focus of Physics will also help you in any numerical field, such as Computer Science, Architecture, Mathematics or Economics.
WHAT DO OUR STUDENTS SAY:
“Don’t be scared! Also don’t think that you have had to take triple science to take an A level science. If you enjoy Physics then please do consider it as an A level. It is challenging but fun at the same time.”
“Physics is really interesting but also rather challenging. It is very helpful to take maths as well, but the course is definitely possible without it.”
“If you are considering taking A level Physics you need to make sure it is a personal interest of yours. If you are keen to learn Physics in more depth you will enjoy the course. It works really well alongside the Maths course too.”