Physics is about asking fundamental questions and trying to answer them by observing and experimenting. For example, physicists want to know the answers to questions like “How did the universe begin?” and “What are the basic building blocks of matter?”
Course Content
A level Physics is a twoyear course, with exams at the end. Topics covered include:
 Particles, electromagnetic radiation and quantum phenomena, nuclear physics and radioactivity
 Wave behaviour including refraction, diffraction, interference and standing wave patterns
 Mechanics including forces, momentum and energy, and further mechanics including oscillations
 Properties of materials
 Astronomy, electrical circuits, and thermal physics
 Gravitational fields, electric fields and capacitance and magnetic fields
 Nuclear physics and radioactivity
It is strongly recommended that students take A Level Maths alongside A Level Physics. If you do not wish to take Maths, you will need to discuss this with a Physics staff member before finalising your choices. Any student opting for A Level Physics but not A Level Mathematics will be automatically enrolled on our Maths for Physics course.
Methods of Teaching
Making observations enables you to understand the relationships between quantities in physics and so practical work is an important part of the course. You will learn about the importance of the estimation of physical quantities and appreciate the limitations of measurements. The practical activities during the course include but are not limited to:
 Determination of: unknown masses by using the principle of moments, Young modulus of a metal in the form of a wire, internal resistance of a cell, wavelength using Young's double slits, and using a diffraction grating
 Measurement of: g by freefall and g with a pendulum
 Investigation of Newton’s 2nd Law
 Investigation of the variation of resistance with temperature for a metal wire
 Measurement of the intensity variations for polarization
 Investigations of: the charging and discharging of a capacitor, the variation of intensity of gamma radiation with distance, force on a current in a magnetic field and magnetic flux density using a Hall probe
Physics enrichment activities
These enrichment activities aim to foster curiosity, critical thinking, and practical skills, enabling you to go beyond the standard curriculum and develop a broader understanding of physics and engineering.
 University of Southampton Robotics Competition
 Extension Physics for PAT and Oxford/Cambridge Interviews
 Astronomy Club; 3D Printing Activity; Experimental Physics
Methods & Patterns of Assessment
You will be tested on your ability to carry out mathematical calculations and written explanations through a range of multiplechoice, structured and longer questions.
There is no coursework, but the examination papers include questions on practical skills. The award of a seperate practical endorsement at A Level depends on sucessful completion of the experimental tasks set during the course.
Where Could It Take Me?
Studying A Level Physics offers amazing career opportunities. It is essential (with Mathematics) for entry to Physics or Engineering degree level courses. Even if you don't end up working in a physicsrelated industry, physics develops skills that provide an excellent basis for a wide range of careers and Higher Education courses.
Studying Physics is a good way of keeping your options open and earning a good salary. Possible careers include computing, economics, business, seismology, healthcare scientist, higher education lecturer, radiation protection practitioner, secondary school teacher, meteorologist, patent attorney, technical author. The opportunities are endless.
Financial Implications
You will require a scientific calculator. The purchase of textbooks for use at home is essential. Further information will be provided in a separate leaflet on Welcome Day. The College has a Student Support Fund for those students who have difficulty meeting these costs.
Entry Requirements
5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English and one of the following combinations:
 If you are studying separate sciences you are required to achieve GCSE grades 7, 6 and 6 (any order) in Physics, Mathematics and one other Science
 If you are studying Combined Science you are required to achieve GCSE grades 7, 6 and 6 (any order) in Combined Science and Mathematics
Most Recent Results
Below is a summary of the most recent set of results for this subject:
Grade: 
A* 
A 
B 
C 
D 
E 
U 
Total 
Total: 
46 
56 
43 
33 
20 
10 
5 
213 
Percentage 
21.6 
26.3 
20.2 
15.5 
9.4 
4.7 
2.3 
