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Why study Physics?

Physics is concerned with understanding how the universe works; from the smallest subatomic particle to models for the universe itself. Imagine a world without the technological advances brought about by the study of physics. No electricity, radio, television, space travel, internet, broadband, medical imaging, aeroplanes, electric motors. The list is endless. In studying A Level physics you will develop an understanding of the physics underlying all these technologies. You will encounter some of the most fundamental questions in science.  The A level syllabus includes the modern ideas of Quantum Theory, High Energy Particle Physics and Cosmology as well as the classical theories of Galileo and Newton. Developing the logical thinking required to solve physics problems will be invaluable in whatever course of study or career you subsequently choose. 

Course content/Outline:

A Level Units
Module 1: Development of practical skills in   physics
Module 2: Foundations of physics
Module 3: Forces and motion
Module 4: Electrons, waves and photons
Module 5: Newtonian world and astrophysics
Module 6: Particles and medical physics

Assessment
Three written examination papers and ‘Practical endorsement in Physics’ which is reported separately and does not contribute to the overall A2 grade.

  1. Modelling physics – 2 hours 15 minutes – content from modules 1,2,3 & 5 (37%)
  2. Exploring physics – 2 hours 15 minutes – content from modules 1,2,4 & 6(37%)
  3. Unified physics – 1 hour 30 minutes – content from modules 1-6 (26%)

The course currently involves visits to Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, university lectures and an optional visit to CERN in Geneva.  Students are strongly  encouraged to read around the subject.

What career opportunities are there?

Physics opens the door to a wide range of degree courses at university.  It is normally a required A-level for engineering courses together with Mathematics and is recommended for many technology-based degrees such as Computing and IT.  Physics is ideal for students wishing to study a scientific subject or a medical degree.  Physics graduates are highly employable and though many do pursue a career in industry or scientific research, many also progress into a range of jobs in the financial and business sectors.

Syllabus: Physics A

Examination Board: OCR

More information: Dr W Henry / Miss L Turner