Subject Lead for Physics: Mr Gordon Steadwood

Physics by Mr Gordon Steadwood

I have always wanted to know how and why things happen. Physics satisfies that wish from the smallest particle to the whole universe. It also inspires a sense of awe and wonder that there are so many incredible things that happen even in the most ordinary of situations. For example, when we get interference on AM radio stations, at least part of that is a distant echo of the creation of the universe at the Big Bang.

Why Study Physics?

Applications of physics can be found in most of the inventions of our society. The concepts, laws and models of physics help us to describe and understand the world around us. They are also fundamental to an understanding of how every physical system works. They extend to every scale; from the infinitesimal particle zoo of the subatomic, through nanotechnology, to the very universe itself. This is reflected in the content of the course.

Course Description

A level Physics is a challenging but rewarding subject. Students will have the opportunity to study some of the topics they covered for GCSE in more depth, as well as new and exciting modules, such as particle physics, quantum phenomena and special relativity.
At least 40% of the marks in the assessments will require the use of mathematical skills. Students choosing to study A level Physics should also study A level Mathematics.

Beyond A level

Physics is a requirement for all university Physics and Engineering courses. Physics at A level is also useful for those planning to read Chemistry, Mathematics, Geography, Architecture and Medicine, as well as certain degrees in the Life Sciences, Forensic Sciences, and the Environmental Sciences.

There is a multitude of careers that can be followed based on a background in Physics. These include those in the physical sciences and other sciences, the scientific civil service, engineering, geophysics, meteorology, material science, environmental physics, astronomy as well as careers in communications, computing, teaching and industry. However, it is important to note that Physics is not only a vocational subject. Many graduates find that their skills are valued in a wide range of other careers, including city jobs in the financial sector, such as banking, accountancy, insurance, and investment

Entry Requirements

Grade 6 or higher in GCSE Physics or Grade 6-5 in GCSE Combined Sciences (with high scores in the Physics units). Owing to the mathematical content of the course, a good understanding of Mathematics is also important: we recommend Grade 6 or above at GCSE.

Technical Details
Exam Board Edexcel
Qualification Type A Level
Course Title Physics
Specification Code 9PHO
  Number Duration Weighting of total A Level
External Exams (end of Year 13) Paper 1 2hr 34%
Paper 2 2hr 34%
Paper 3 2hr 32%