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Sixth Form


Course Title:  A Level Physics

Exam Board: AQA



What is it all about?


Have you ever wondered how lightning occurs, why an object in water can appear to bend, why the stars twinkle or how the International Space Station doesn’t fall to Earth? Have you ever heard that protons and neutron are in fact made of smaller particles called quarks and wondered what they are? When we turn on a light or check the weather forecast, we are reaping the practical benefits of physics research. As well as exploring fundamental science, A level Physics explains the technologies of everyday life, equipping you with the tools and imagination to address tomorrow's questions.


Your physics training will equip you with an understanding of mathematics, of physical principles and techniques, as well as transferable skills in analysis, rational argument and innovative problem solving. The job market and further education value physicists' versatility and physicists are welcomed by a wider range of professions than any other subject.

The AQA Physics syllabus is one of the most widely followed and easy to understand A-level physics courses available. It is also highly respected by universities as a course which gives an excellent grounding for those who wish to go onto to study scientific or engineering courses. A-level physics also accesses many other courses that are not science related as universities value the analytical and critical thinking skills the subject develops.

Physics is studied as a full 2 year A-level course with all of the exams at the end of the 2 years of study.


Want to know more?


How will I be assessed?


Physics has 8 topics outlined below with an optional topic as well, in recent years we have allowed students to choose their options unit to suit the cohorts’ aspirations for further education.

  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.     Options Unit



Assessment for the full A-level involves 3 written papers.  Paper 1 examines Topics 1-5 and part of Topic 6, and is worth 34% of the A-level.  Paper 2 examines Topics 1-8 and is also worth 34%.  Finally, Paper 3 examines practical skills, data analysis, and Topic 9 and is worth 32% of the A-level.

What are the entrance requirements?


This course is suitable for students who have achieved a grade ‘5/5’ or above in Science at GCSE. GCSEs in English and Mathematics at grade ‘4’ or above would be an advantage, as this course demands good literacy, wide range of vocabulary and competency in maths and statistics. It is strongly encouraged that if you’re studying Physics you study A level Maths too, this will make a big difference your understanding of the course.


What skills do I need?


There is a strong emphasis on guided independent study and research throughout the course. The successful student will be well organised and highly motivated, making good use of private study time to explore further aspects of the syllabus or the subject in general.


Future prospects?


There is a high demand for A level Physics in many areas of industry and the job market. It is a demanding A level.  It shows employers and those in further education the commitment, academic ability and self-discipline to do well in what ever a physics student turns their hand to. Obvious areas physics leads to are engineering, medicine, design, architect and the like. Less obvious routes would be careers in law or accountantcy.

What do our students say?


“Physics helps me achieve a deeper understanding of the world”.


“Physics develops perseverance in order to answer questions using understanding and the equations required”.


“Physics has helped my problem solving skills and increased my perseverance to work through a problem until I find a solution”.


“Physics is a stepping stone to my dream of studying Engineering”.


Mr Allen asks a couple of our Y12 students about the A-level Physics course

Mr Allen asks some of our Y13 students about the Physics course and why they chose it.

Coast and Vale Learning Trust

About Coast and Vale Learning Trust

The Coast and Vale Learning Trust in Scarborough aims to improve education in the locality through establishing coherent and collaborative practice across schools and other educational institutions in the area.

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