Studying Physics will enable students to study the universe around them and many of the fundamental principles that govern its behaviour. The course spans a large range of topics from the behaviour of subatomic particles to the life cycles of stars. Students will improve their understanding of the subject through practical sessions and the mathematical analysis of a wide variety of physical phenomena.
A-level Physics takes the foundations of knowledge in many areas such as energy, forces and atomic physics which were covered during the GCSE syllabus and augments students’ knowledge of these topics further. IT also further increases the use of mathematics in the subject which allows students to improve their skills in this area.
A Level Assessment Overview
Paper 1—Modelling physics: Content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5.
Paper 2—Exploring physics: Content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6.
Paper 3—Unified physics: Content from all modules can be assessed.
Years 1 and 2
Module 1 – Development of practical skills in physics
Note: Module 1 of the specification content relates to the practical skills learners are expected to gain throughout the course, which are assessed throughout the written examinations. Practical activities are embedded within the learning outcomes of the course to encourage practical activities in the classroom, enhancing learners’ understanding of physics theory and practical skills.
Module 2 – Foundations of physics
2.1 Physical quantities and units 2.2 Making measurements and analysing data 2.3 Nature of quantities
Module 3 – Forces and motion
3.1 Motion 3.2 Forces in action 3.3 Work, energy and power 3.4 Materials 3.5 Newton’s laws of motion and momentum
Module 4 – Electrons, waves and photons
4.1 Charge and current 4.2 Energy, power and resistance 4.3 Electrical circuits 4.4 Waves 4.5 Quantum physics
Module 5 – Newtonian world and astrophysics
5.1 Thermal physics 5.2 Circular motion 5.3 Oscillations 5.4 Gravitational fields 5.5 Astrophysics and cosmology
Module 6 – Particles and medical physics
6.1 Capacitors 6.2 Electric fields 6.3 Electromagnetism6.4 Nuclear and particle physics 6.5 Medical imaging
Exam Board and Specification
Exam board: OCR
Exam specification: Physics A H556
Please see the entry requirements document here
Is This Course Right For Me?
Physics – a content-led approach. This course offers a flexible approach to Physics where the specification is divided into topics, each covering different key concepts of physics.
As students progress through the course they will build on their knowledge of the laws of Physics, applying their understanding to solve problems on topics ranging from sub-atomic particles to the entire universe. For A level only, the Practical Endorsement will also support the development of practical skills.
OCR’s AS Level in Physics A specification aims to encourage learners to:
- develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other.
- develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods.
- develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem-solving skills;
- develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject.
- understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.
Please watch our short video to see what studying Physics at Guilsborough SIxth Form is like.
Studying physics is very insightful as it allows you to understand how things work around. Learning about quantum physics has been very interesting and doing physics has helped me decide what I wanted to do in the future.
Year 13 Student
Studying physics has really made me think about the real world and how everything works. Learning about space specifically has really helped me decide to study cosmology in the future.
Year 13 Student
Where will A Level Physics take me past Sixth Form?
The Physics course is suitable for students who intend to go on to study a wide variety of university courses including:
- Mechanical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Computer Science
It can lead to careers in multiple sectors including,
- Research Scientist
Some examples of universities and their entry requirements to study Physics and other related degrees are:
UCL BSc Medical Physics A-level entry requirements are in the range AAA-ABB, to include Mathematics (grade A preferred) and Physics, usually at least one of them at grade A.
University of Northampton Environmental Science (BSc) or Electronic/Mechanical Engineering (BEng) A-Level entry requirements approximately BBC (280 Ucas Points) This is to include A Level in Maths for engineering however Maths is not required for environmental science.
University of Liverpool Mechanical Engineering (BEng) Typically ABB at A-Level including Mathematics plus another Science subject.