This course expands the range of knowledge beyond GCSE.
Areas of study include:
- Motion, energy and matter
- Electricity and light
- Oscillations and nuclei
- Fields and options.
In year two you will undertake a practical examination giving you the opportunity to carry out an investigation and evaluate experimental data.
Updated July 2017
Minimum grade B in GCSE Physics (or double award Science) Maths and English. Grades C may be considered upon interview.
Physics expands the range of knowledge beyond GCSE via the following modules:
- AS Unit 1 - Motion, Energy and Matter (including basic physics, kinematics, dynamics, energy concepts, solids under stress, using radiation to investigate stars and particles and nuclear structure.
- AS Unit 2 - Electricity and Light (including conduction of electricity, resistance, D.C. circuits, the nature of waves, wave properties, refraction of light, photons and lasers.
- A2 Unit 3 – Oscillations and Nuclei (including circular motion, vibrations, kinetic theory, thermal physics, nuclear decay and nuclear energy.
- A2 Unit 4 – Fields and Options (including capacitance, electrostatic and gravitational fields of force, orbits and the wider universe, magnetic fields and electromagnetic induction along with a choice of alternating currents, medical physics, the physics of sports or energy and the environment.
- A2 Unit 5 – Practical examination giving the opportunity to demonstrate carrying out an investigation and analysing and evaluating experimental data.
Studying physics can help you to develop a range of skills that can be applied in many areas, both scientific and non-technical. These skills include:
- Problem solving - studying physics gives you a pragmatic and analytical approach to problem solving. You break tasks down to their basic elements and use imagination and creativity to try new approaches to solve challenging problems
- Reasoning - physics involves using reasoning skills to construct logical arguments, apply analytical skills and grasp complex problems
- Numeracy - physics gives you skills in using mathematics to find solutions to scientific problems, create mathematical modelling and interpret and present information graphically
- Practical skills - physics helps you obtain practical skills by planning, executing and reporting experiments, using technical equipment and paying attention to detail
- Communication - studying physics gives you skills to communicate complex ideas and use technical language correctly
- Information and communication technology (ICT) - the physics course involves using ICT effectively.
Other skills developed on your physics course include independent working, teamwork, organisation and time management.
Physics is the fast track to the widest range of opportunities. Employers rate a physics qualification so highly because they recognise you as intelligent, logical and practical. A Level Physics is a useful and, more often, essential qualification for any technical or scientific course at university, for example physics, engineering (civil, mechanical, electrical or electronic), architecture, medicine or veterinary medicine.