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Curriculum Leader: Mr J Martin

Physics is a complex and broad science. You will enjoy this course if you are interested in understanding the physical world around you from the small quantum to the vast stretching fields that underpin our universe. You will develop a logical approach to problem-solving and causal reasoning combined with practical applications in experiments. A-level Physics is a stepping-stone to future study. We follow a specification which was put together following extensive consultation with a range of universities to ensure that students studying this subject develop the skills that the universities want to see. A-Level Physics will inspire students, nurture a passion for Physics and lay the groundwork for further study in courses like physical sciences and engineering. 

Subject Requirements

  • GCSE English - Grade 5 or above
  • GCSE Maths - Grade 5 or above
  • GCSE Additional Science or GCSE Physics - Grade 5 or above


Only by tackling the difficult problems do we really find how far we can push ourselves and what needs to be done to go even further. Physics will challenge you and that is half of the fun, in class, you will learn to break down problems to their fundamentals in the same way quantum mechanics breaks down the atom.


Learning about which subatomic particles have a strangeness of +1 and why some particles are charmed, all the way up to how a black hole warps space-time and everything in between. If you like these ideas along with understanding how everything fits together and works then physics is for you. Almost everything around you is a product of physics, the lights that light your room, the wires that provide power for them, the motor in your car, GPS in your phone, your oven, the door handle even the ink on the page you are reading this off or a screen displaying this text. Our world is run, and governed and obeys the laws of physics and I welcome you to come and learn how it all works. 

We ensure that SEND and disadvantaged children are given the necessary support in class to access the Curriculum fully and that equal opportunities are given to all.


Physics is fundamentally an experimental subject. This course provides numerous opportunities to use mathematical skills to link theory to reality as well as equip students with the essential practical skills they need. 


Year 12 Physics Topic Information 

  1. Electricity - This section builds on and develops earlier studies of these phenomena from GCSE. It provides opportunities for the development of practical skills at an early stage in the course and lays the groundwork for later study of the many electrical applications that are important to society.

  2. Particles and radiation - This section introduces students both to the fundamental properties of matter and to electromagnetic radiation and quantum phenomena. Teachers may wish to begin with this topic to provide a new interest and knowledge dimension beyond GCSE. Through a study of these topics, students become aware of the way ideas develop and evolve in physics. They will appreciate the 12 Visit for the most up-to-date specification, resources, support and administration importance of international collaboration in the development of new experiments and theories in this area of fundamental research.

  3. Waves - GCSE studies of wave phenomena are extended through the development of knowledge of the characteristics, properties, and applications of travelling waves and stationary waves. Topics treated include refraction, diffraction, superposition and interference.

  1. Mechanics and materials - Vectors and their treatment are introduced followed by the development of the student’s knowledge and understanding of forces, energy and momentum. The section continues with a study of materials considered in terms of their bulk properties and tensile strength. As with earlier topics, this section and also the following section Electricity would provide a good starting point for students who prefer to begin by consolidating work.


Year 13 Physics Topic Information 

  1. Measurements and their errors - The content in this section is a continuing study for a student of physics. Working knowledge of the specified fundamental (base) units of measurement is vital. Likewise, practical work in the subject needs to be underpinned by an awareness of the nature of measurement errors and of their numerical treatment. The ability to carry through reasonable estimations is a skill that is required throughout the course and beyond.

  1. Further mechanics and thermal physics - The earlier study of mechanics is further advanced through a consideration of the circular motion and simple harmonic motion (the harmonic oscillator). A further section allows the thermal properties of materials, the properties and nature of ideal gases, and the molecular kinetic theory to be studied in depth.

  1. Fields and their consequences - The concept of field is one of the great unifying ideas in physics. The ideas of gravitation, electrostatics and magnetic field theory are developed within the topic to emphasise this unification. Many ideas from mechanics and electricity from earlier in the course support this and are further developed. Practical applications considered include planetary and satellite orbits, capacitance and capacitors, their charge and discharge through resistors, and electromagnetic induction. These topics have a considerable impact on modern society.

  1. Nuclear physics - This section builds on the work of Particles and radiation to link the properties of the nucleus to the production of nuclear power through the characteristics of the nucleus, the properties of unstable nuclei, and the link between energy and mass. Students should become aware of the physics that underpins nuclear energy production and also of the impact that it can have on society.


A-Level Qualification: 100% Examination - 3 exam papers. 

Paper One (34%) Paper Two (34%) Paper Three (32%)
Written Examination: 2 Hours. 85 Marks Written Examination: 2 Hours. 85 Marks Written Examination: 2 Hours. 80 Marks
Sections 1 - 5 and 6.1 (Periodic motion) Sections 6.2 (Thermal Physics), 7 and 8 Assumed knowledge from sections 1 to 6.1 Section A: Compulsory section: Practical skills and data analysis Section B: Students enter for one of sections 9, 10, 11, 12 or 13

Practical Endorsement: All students studying A-Level Physics must complete 12 ‘Required Practicals’ and a separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. This will be assessed by teachers and will be based on direct observation of student’s competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams. 

Examining board link: AQA A Level Physics 

Physics Future Paths

Industries employing physicists are varied and include aerospace and defence, education, energy and renewable energy, engineering, health and medicine, instrumentation, manufacturing, meteorology and climate change, nanotechnology, oil and gas, and science and telecommunications. Some courses that physics can lead you into include astrophysics, quantum physics, particle physics, mathematical physics, thermodynamics, and nanotechnology as well as being useful in the other sciences, computing, and mathematics. 

For more information on Careers, please visit here.

Extra Resources

Revision Materials