- Have you ever wondered why the Universe behaves the way it does?
- How do architects and engineers use Physics to design bridges, buildings, roads, aircraft and cars?
- How is Physics used to date archaeological remains?
5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above including Maths and English Language, with at least Grade 6 in Maths and either Grade 6 in Physics and two Grade 5s in Biology and Chemistry or two Grades 6s in Combined Science.
Is this course for me?
- You may wish to consider studying A Level Maths or Statistics alongside this subject to help you gain the necessary mathematics skills to study Physics at university.
- You are confident with algebra and trigonometry and enjoy using Maths to solve problems.
- You are interested in how things work and by the fundamental questions about the Universe.
- You enjoy exploring connections between Physics and other subjects such as Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Design Technology.
- You want to study a discipline that is used in many areas of professional activity including engineering, health and biomedicine, the public services, computing etc.
Where does it lead?
A Level Physics is an important qualification for many careers. Many universities prefer (and some require) you to have studied Physics for degree courses in the Physical Sciences (including Physics, Electronics, Astronomy and Material Science) and the Medical Sciences (including Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy and Radiography). It is also important for many applied subjects such as Architecture and many types of Engineering. Many students go on to study Physics at university, which can lead to a career in research and development, either in a university or in industry. Students of Physics are particularly welcome in areas such as Law, Accountancy and Computing as it is highly regarded by employers as a test of problem-solving ability and logical thought.
What will I learn?
Development of practical skills in physics
You will develop skills in planning, implementing, analysing and evaluating practical experiments in Physics.
Foundations in physics
This module will introduce you to important conventions in Physics including understanding of physical quantites, S.I. units, scalars and vectors.
Forces & motion
You will explore the physics of projectiles and motion, forces and energy and examine the mechanical properties of materials in extreme situations. You will investigate what happens to materials subject to stress and strain and learn how to calculate the energy transferred by projectiles and in collisions.
Electrons, waves & photons
You will explore the topic of electricity looking at what current is, how and why it moves and how we can utilise it. You will also learn about the properties and behaviour of waves, including interference and diffraction, before studying the principles of Quantum Physics and the wave/particle duality of light.
Development of practical skills in physics
You will continue to develop skills in planning, implementing, analysing and evaluating practical experiments in physics.
Newtonian world & astrophysics
You will explore Mechanics in more depth, learning about Newton’s Laws, the physics of collisions, circular motion, oscillations, gravity and the orbits of the planets. You will also investigate thermal physics which examines the four states of matter, temperature and heat and the behaviour of ideal gases. This module also allows an opportunity to appreciate how the scientific ideas of the Big Bang have developed over time.
Particles & medical physics
You will examine electric and magnetic fields, magnetism and capacitors. You will also learn about nuclear physics, the fundamental particles, radioactivity and nuclear fission and fusion. The unit then explores medical imaging including ultrasound, X-Rays and MRI & PET scanners.
How will I be assessed?
The A Level in Physics is assessed in three written papers that assess content from all six modules that have been studied. A practical endorsement in Physics is also awarded at A Level as a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ alongside the overall grade for the qualification.
40% of the marks available within written examinations will be for assessment of mathematics in the context of Physics.
What activities can I get involved in?
You will have the opportunity to apply your learning to real life situations through College trips and visits. These may include visiting an operational power station, Jodrell Bank Space Centre and a medical centre to view imaging equipment.
There may be an opportunity to travel to Geneva to visit the World’s largest particle Physics laboratory, CERN (The European Organisation for Nuclear Research).