The understanding of the world around, inside and beyond us, physics encompasses the study of the universe from the largest galaxies to the smallest subatomic particles.

Overview

From the very smallest scale, such as the laws of quantum mechanics that govern the behaviour of sub atomic particles, to the largest scale, such as the effects of massive stars on space and time, physics examines and seeks to explain the very nature of our universe.


Board: AQA
 

During the course, you will gain a greater understanding of waves, fields, mechanics, electricity and nuclear physics, as well as the opportunity to focus on a special area of physics

Course Structure

Teaching begins in September (January for 18 month courses). In the first year you will cover the following topics:

  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and radiation
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and materials
  • Electricity

Students may take the AS exam at the end of the first year of the programme. The second year then builds on this foundation for the completion of the full A level.

 

In the second year you will focus on the following topics:

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

Students will also be entered for one of the following options::

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

Exam Structure

AS Exam Format

Papers 1 & 2
1 hour and 30 minutes each paper
 

A2 Exam Format

Papers 1, 2 & 3
2 hours each paper

Physics One-Year A level

The board, format and content are the same as the two-year programme, but the course is covered in the space of one year. The stand-alone AS papers would not be sat.

 

Programme Requirements

Students need at least grade C at GCSE Physics, Dual Award Science, or equivalent.

Related Further Study and Careers

While physics is often chosen alongside at least one other science subject or mathematics, it can accompany a wide range of other subjects. If it is chosen alongside other sciences and/or mathematics, it prepares students well for degree courses in engineering, medicine and sciences in general. Students wishing to read architecture at university usually need to study physics. It is seen as a facilitating subject and physics graduates can progress on to many fields other than the sciences. Employers see it as a very good A level to have.


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