Is this course right for me?
This course develops your understanding of Physics, both the underlying concepts and the practical implications. It can lead to careers in science, engineering, computing and other areas. It also provides preparation for Higher Education, and the problem solving skills used in physics are valuable in all disciplines.
It is also a valuable and interesting subject in its own right. Physics lies at the heart of Science. It is the study of the natural world, with a view to identifying patterns of behaviour, some of which can be summarised in simple Laws of Physics.
The course is suitable if you are a committed student and have achieved good Physics/Science and Maths grades at GCSE level. The course will enhance your interest in the subject and its wider applications, allowing you to excel.
- 5 GCSEs at grade C or above to include the following: English or Welsh (1st language), Mathematics (Grade B preferred), Physics (Grade B) OR Double Award Science (Grade BB)
- Attendance at an interview
- Entry onto the full A Level is based on your performance at AS Level
- Consideration will be given to mature students without recognised qualifications
Students are regarded as creative people, making their own sense of phenomena they meet.
The course involves learning through experience as much as possible. The learning activities reflect this and include:
- working in groups
- independent study
- the use of computers in practical work
- educational visits
- MOODLE (virtual learning environment)
The course is assessed in the first year for the AS Level and in the 2nd year for the A Level.
- AS: 2 examinations in Late May/Early June at the end of the 1st year (worth 40% of the total A Level); and
- A2: Practical Examination, March of the 2nd year, and 2 examinations in June of the 2nd year (worth 60% of the total A Level).
Whether you study the full A Level or just the AS Level, the course adds to your qualifications and helps you to progress. You will gain UCAS points and be able to apply for a range of Higher Education courses at many institutions. You will find that A Level Physics is highly regarded by universities and by employers, particularly for the logical thinking and practical skills it develops.
If you choose to continue your studies in a related subject, there are many degree courses available in Pure and Applied Physics.
A Level Physics can be combined with other A Levels to lead to a broad range of career paths, including numerate careers such as Accountancy, Architecture, Business and Cartography.
It is also advantageous for a career in the Physical Sciences, in Chemistry, in Life Sciences, including Medicine and Veterinary Science, in Aviation or Meteorology, and for a career in Engineering, including Electronics and Computing.
Your studies on the A Level course will help you to make an informed choice from the options available.
Additional campus/course information:
On this course you will develop a wide understanding of Physics and its applications from pioneers like Newton to present day space scientists.
Year 1 (AS)
Unit 1: Motion, Energy and Matter
In this module you will build on work previously studied in your GCSE course and study some of the most fundamental aspects of Physics. You will also be introduced to new work, which is completely different from that studied at GCSE, including the study of stars and physics particles.
Unit 2: Electricity and Light
In this unit, you will study electrical circuits and electrical currents in nature. In addition, you will look at the characteristics of waves, including light waves, dual nature and operation of lasers.
Year 2 (Higher)
Unit 3: Oscillations and Nuclei
In this unit you will study more complex oscillations, including oscillations in a circle and oscillating. You will also study Nuclear physics, including the methods of producing energy from the nucleus.
Unit 4: Fields and Options
A core part of this module is about gravitational fields, both electrical and magnetic. This will include a study of the orbits of planets (astrophysics). There is a choice of four options for further study:
- Option A : Alternating Currents
- Option B : Medical Physics
- Option C : Physics Sports
- Option D : Sustainability and Environment
Unit 5: Practical Examination
In this examination, you will be assessed on the practical skills you've learned during the previous four units.