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Learn more about physics

Why study this subject?

Physics is the study of nature, so studying it is to boldly attempt to understand the world around us; from vast gravitational fields that stretch out across the universe, to the tiniest sub atomic particles that drift around in wires or that can be accelerated into each other at speeds approaching the speed of light to release vast amounts of energy. Not only do we strive to understand these things, we also seek to make links between them and to think about how we can best harness them. As Physicists we ask ‘why?’ and‘how?’ as we study the workings of not only the Earth, but the Universe. Our aim is to simplify, where possible the complexities of the Universe – in so doing we should further not only our own understanding, but in the words of Richard P. Feynman, “learn what we can, improve the solutions and pass them on.”

We hope you will enjoy studying Physics; it can be a very demanding subject but when studied in depth it is also very rewarding and can lead to many exciting careers including Engineering, Astronomy Medicine and the Finance sector.

Which Examination Board?


Does the AS count towards the A Level or is it a standalone qualification?

The AS is a standalone qualification. It does not count towards the A Level. You can opt into the AS qualification if you choose to drop this subject at the end of Year 12.

How will you be assessed?

Students may sit the AS qualification in June 2017.

  • Paper 1: Breadth in Physics: 1 hour 20 minutes: 50% Multiple choice and structured questions.
  • Paper 2: Depth in Physics: 1 hour 30 minutes: 50% Structured and extended response questions.

Students will sit the A Level qualification in June 2018.

  • Paper 1: Modelling Physics: 2 hours 15 minutes: 37% Multiple choice and structured questions.
  • Paper 2: Exploring Physics: 2 hours 15 minutes: 37% Multiple choice and extended response questions
  • Paper 3: Unified Physics: 1 hour 30 minutes: 26% Structured and extended response questions.

Non-examination assessment: Practical endorsement for Physics reported frequently.

What is the outline content over 2 years?

In Year 12 students study mechanics, materials, quantum physics, electricity and various aspects of wave motion. In Year 13 the course covers gravity and cosmology, aspects of medical physics applications, particle physics and electromagnetism. Practical skills are taught in tandem with the theory work to complement student understanding.