girls in science


Skip Navigation Links   >   Home   >   Academic   >   Curriculum   >   Science, maths & IT   >   Physics

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 can be taken a standalone qualification at the end of Year 12 but it also counts as 40% of the overall A Level.

How will you be assessed?

All Students sit the AS examinations in June of Year 12.

  • Unit 1: Motion, Energy and Matter: 1 hour 30 minutes: 20% of qualification
  • Unit 2: Electricity and Light: 1 hour 30 minutes: 20% of qualification.

Structured and extended response questions.


Students will complete the A Level examination qualification in June of Year 13.

  • Unit 3: Oscillations and Nuclei 2 hours 15 minutes: 25%
  • Unit 4: Fields and Options: 2 hours: 25%

Structured and extended response questions.


  • Unit 5: Practical Examination: 10% 

This consists of two parts: Experiment Task (1 hour 30 minutes) and Practical Analysis Task (1 hour). These are examined in the Spring term of Year 13 and each worth 5% of the Practical mark.


Students are allowed to re-sit AS units to improve their overall grade if necessary in Year 13.

What is the outline content over 2 years?

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