Why study Physics?

Physics is a wonderfully varied subject. It covers everything on a scale ranging from the size of the universe to the size of the very smallest sub-atomic particles. The aim of Physics is to understand how everything works and studying Physics allows you to describe, explain and predict the world around you. The subject has many practical applications, being the basis of all modern technological developments, and an A level physicist emerges from the course laden with skills which transfer to a wide variety of careers.

Exam Board:

AQA: www.aqa.org.uk

Course outline:

In Year 12 we study:

  • Particle physics
  • Electricity
  • The nature of light and quantum phenomena
  • Mechanics
  • Materials
  • Waves

In Year 13 we study:

  • Nuclear physics
  • Electric, gravitational and magnetic fields
  • Thermal physics
  • Astrophysics

How you are assessed:

The course is solely assessed through three exams of 2 hours each, which are sat in the summer of Year 13.

Paper 1 and 2 examine the course content through short and long answer questions followed by multiple choice questions. Paper 3 covers practical work in Physics  and Astrophysics.

There is a separate, additional practical endorsement gained by your performance in the 12 required practical experiments which are completed throughout the course.

Studying this subject could lead to a career in:

There are truly too many pathways which you can follow to list. Physics is a well-respected qualification and a high grade will attract the attention of universities and employers alike.

For examples of possible careers visit:


Subject requirements:

Minimum grade 6 in GCSE Physics or 6+6 in Combined Science. Grade 5 in Maths also required.

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