Physics A Level
Who should take the course?
A level Physics is available to students who have taken GCSEs in either Combined Science (Higher Tier), or the separate science subjects (Triple Science). See subject criteria.
Physicists are able to think clearly and systematically, and solve complex problems – skills that are highly valued by employers in a wide range of fields. Many students are required to study A level Physics in order to qualify for higher level study in subjects such as Science, Engineering, Computing and Medicine and it can be a valuable asset for Business, Finance and Economics.
Physics is often studied alongside Biology, Chemistry or Geography and it is strongly recommended that Physics is taken in combination with Mathematics.
What is the course about?
Physicists seek to gain a deeper understanding of the natural world, ranging from identifying the smallest fundamental particles right up to explaining how the Universe has evolved. Through your work you will use practical investigations to establish and then apply new theories and explanations. You will encounter lots of calculations along the way. A natural curiosity and a drive to explain how the world works is essential.
Topics studied in the first year include Mechanics, Electricity, Wave Motion, and Quantum Physics. In the second year modern Physics ideas including Particle Physics, Nuclear Physics and Cosmology are studied as well as classical concepts such as Field Theory and Thermodynamics.
How is it assessed?
This A Level is a two year linear course which will culminate in three exams at the end of year 13. There is no practical coursework that will contribute to the final grade, however there will be a standard set of practical skills that will be assessed in the final written exams at the end of the course.
Students will be awarded a separate practical endorsement alongside their A Level Physics grade. This will be a teacher assessed endorsement based on the student’s competency against a set of practical assessment criteria. Students will be assessed as either pass or not reported. The endorsement will not contribute to the overall grade for their A Level Physics qualification, but the result will be recorded on the student’s certificate.