A-level Physics

A-level Physics

AS and A-level Physics gives the opportunity to explore the phenomena of the universe and to look at theories that describe what is observed. This subject combines practical skills with theoretical ideas to develop hypotheses to describe the physical universe. You will learn about everything from kinematics to cosmology and many recent developments in fascinating topics, such as particle physics.
Entry Requirements
A good grounding in Physics is essential and a grade 5/6 or above at GCSE is the major requirement. A high competence in Mathematics is reasonably important as well as the ability to write good English that is scientifically accurate. A general interest in science would be helpful. Physics A-level would be an excellent subject to study alongside either or both of the other two sciences. Much of what you learn in Physics will complement the knowledge you will gain in Biology and Chemistry.

Course Content

AS course
Section 1: Includes Particles and Quantum Phenomena
Section 2: Includes Waves and Optics
Section 3: Includes Forces, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Momentum, Work, Energy and Materials
Section 4: Includes Electricity and DC Circuits

The practical skills assessment involves performing a series of six experiments in class time which are assessed.
A2 course
Section 6: Includes Circular Motion, Simple Harmonic Motion, Thermal Physics and Gases
Section 7: Includes Gravitational Fields, Electric Fields, Capacitors, Magnetic Fields and Electromagnetic Induction
Section 8: Includes Radioactivity and Nuclear Energy

There is then an optional topic. We currently offer Astrophysics or Engineering Physics.

The practical skills assessment involves performing a second series of six experiments in class time which are assessed.

The examination board is AQA.


For the AS course, sections 1 to 4 are assessed by written examinations.

For the full A-level course, the whole of the course will be examined at the end of the two years, with the practical assessment being assessed in college and receiving an endorsement if passed.

Students will be advised on current progress and given opportunities for all papers to be redone if marks fall below target levels.

Regular testing throughout the course ensures that both staff and students know of progress being made.

Where does it lead?

Physics is an excellent subject that will demonstrate to an employer that you have analytical and mathematical skills that you can apply to real life situations. There are many possible career paths that it will create for you, for example: Engineering, Medicine, Forensic Science, Astronomy, Cosmology, Electronics, Power generation, Finance and many more.

Reading List

Students will have access to the course textbooks and also to an extensive subject library both within the department and the college.  Internet access is also freely available around the college campus.  It is also recommended that students keep abreast of scientific developments, not only to aid the Physics knowledge but also to supplement entry for university.  The department subscribes to scientific journals, which can be easily accessed.