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This course aims to develop your interest and enthusiasm for Physics. The topics covered will inspire and nurture your passion for Physics, laying the groundwork for further study in science or engineering.

You will also develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works, such as the particles and processes involved in the Large Hadron Collider.

It is strongly recommended that A-level Mathematics should be taken with this course. Students who are not taking an A-level in maths will be required to enrol on a maths course.

Who is the course for?

Physics is considered to be one of the more challenging A-level subjects, however, if a student is hard-working and self-motivated, it will prove to be a stimulating and rewarding course. Physics students will study the interactions between matter, space, time and energy from the smallest scale of sub-atomic particles to that of the entire universe.

Course content

Year 1


Measurements and their errors.


Particles and radiation




Mechanics and materials



Year 2


Further mechanics and thermal processes


Fields and their consequences


Nuclear Physics

One of the following optional units: Astrophysics / Medical Physics / Engineering Physics / Turning Point in Physics / Electronics

For the full A-level the 9 topics studied are assessed in three written exam papers each lasting 2 hours. Students will complete a range of practical activities and the knowledge and understanding of these will be assessed within the written exams.

Practical skills endorsement

Alongside the exam grade student certificates will also show if they have earned a practical skill endorsement. This is a pass/fail mark generated from a portfolio of practical work. 

Methods of Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The course is tutored by well-qualified staff. The approach is active and practical wherever possible. There is a mix of individual and group work.

Methods of Assessment

The A-level is entirely assessed by written examination at the end of the course. Students will complete a range of practical activities; and the knowledge and understanding of these will also be assessed within the written exams. Practical skills will also be assessed by teacher observation in class for the A-level qualification.

Over the course of the two years of teaching there will be regular Key Assessments to check on progress and identify where students need extra support to achieve their full potential.

Resources and Charges

Support for students is provided by the Learning Resource Centre and within the department, where there is access to a small Physics library, the Internet and a wide range of specialist Physics apparatus.


A charge may be made if external visits are arranged, these are optional.

Financial assistance is available through the College Bursary Scheme.


University masterclasses, visiting speakers, Crest Gold Awards, Academic Challenges (Physics Olympiads), Nuffield Research Placements and various science trips including CERN.


An A-level in Physics can be used as part of the entry requirement for many degree courses. The problem-solving, communication and mathematical skills required to achieve an A-level in Physics make it an excellent qualification for a range of careers.

Typical careers include physics and astrophysics research, finance, mechanical engineer, aeronautical engineering, civil engineering, sound engineering, robotics engineering, weather forecaster, renewable energy (e.g. wind farm development and design), programming and medical physics including medicine etc.

Where can this course lead?

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