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Physics

 

Physics is the most fundamental and venerable of the sciences, and can lead to the most diverse and flexible range of careers and skills, from space travel to archaeology, biophysics to financial markets and global engineering.  Amongst admission tutors and recruiters alike, it is considered as a very valuable A level.

The AQA (Specification A) A-Level Physics course is designed to develop student’s knowledge and understanding in physics and its applications, to develop the link between theory and experiment and to extend their understanding of the way in which mathematical processes relate to physical principles.  A full programme of practical work in included to reinforce the theory lessons.

A typical week’s homework would include a set of numerical and qualitative problems, a web based assignment and preparation for and writing up an experiment.  Students are encouraged to read around the subject, for example by reading New Scientist or Physics Review regularly.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for the course is grade 7 or above at GCSE Physics or equivalent grades at GCSE Double Award Science. A grade 7 or above at GCSE Mathematics is also required. 

Course overview

1. Measurements and their errors

2. Particles and radiation

3. Waves

4. Mechanics and materials

5. Electricity

6. Further mechanics and thermal physics

7. Fields and their consequences

8. Nuclear physics

9. Medical physics

Assessment Overview

1. Sections 1 – 5, 6.1 (periodic motion), 2hr, 34%

2. Sections 6.2, 7, 8, 2hr, 34%

3. Practical skills and data analysis, 2hr, 32%

Non-exam: Practical Endorsement for physics: Reported separately (does not count towards the A-Level)

This new A level is a two year course with all final exams being taken at the end of year 2.  There is no coursework element, but practicals are an integral part of the course and a practical skills verification will form an additional part of the final A level grade.

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