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Why study Physics?

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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 Assessment

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

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 usually involves at least one optional trip over the two years. In the past these have included a particle masterclass at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the Eurospace Centre and CERN. Additionally, we arrange many talks over the course of the year from universities, professionals and past students.  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: Mr T Lynch / Mr D Simon