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What interests should I have if I want to take this course?

If you like mathematical problem solving and looking at the world analytically, physics is probably a subject that will interest you. Interests in how things work from electronic circuits or car crashes to the fundamental nature of the universe are important. In addition researching and explaining complex ideas are important in physics.

An enjoyment and competency in mathematics is essential to allow you to use these skills in answering those fundamental questions about the universe. 

If you are the type of person that likes to question things and find out why and how things work – physics is a good subject choice.

What will I learn about?

The arrangement of topics will be very different from the strands met at GCSE so that students will see the breadth and universality of the ideas covered.

Module 1 – Development of Practical Skills

Module 2 – Fundamental Data Analysis

  • Fundamental experimental and analytical skills

Module 3 – Physics in Action

  • Imaging and Signalling
  • Sensing
  • Mechanical Properties of Materials

Module 4 – Understanding Processes

  • Wave and Quantum Behaviour
  • Space, Time and Motion

Module 5 – Rise and Fall of the Clockwork Universe

  • Creating Models
  • Out into Space
  • Our place in the Universe
  • Matter: Very simple
  • Matter: Hot or cold

Module 6 – Field and Particle Physics

  • Electromagnetism
  • Charge and Field
  • Probing deep into matter
  • Ionising radiation and risk

How will I be Assessed?

Terminal assessments at the end of Year 13

Paper 1  -  Foundations of Advancing Physics 
(1.5 hours) 50% Weighting

Paper 2 - Advancing Physics in depth 
(1.5 hours) 50% Weighting

Practical endorsement for Physics - Pass/Fail

What minimum qualifications will I need to start the course?

7 and 6 in Combined Science and 5 in Maths, or 7 and 6 (minimum of 6 in Physics) in Triple Science and 5 in Maths.

What Teaching and Learning methods will be used?

Teaching physics involves a wide variety of techniques to help all students of all abilities gain the necessary skills.  We deliver a comprehensive practical endorsement programme where pupils learn about managing uncertainties in experiments and methodologies of improving experiments to yield accurate and precise results.  This is delivered via regular practical work supported by staff who provide guidance. 

Mathematical skills are built on at a pace that is appropriate for everyone.  You do not have to study mathematics at A-level to be successful at Physics.

Theory is delivered in a variety of ways, including lecturing, videos, demonstrations and enquiry based learning activities.  The theory is then supported in acquisition by providing opportunities for pupils to discuss their understanding and apply these principles to problem solving questions.  Group work, paired work and individual work are used when appropriate to allow pupils to progress through the work. 

We offer a comprehensive support programme for pupils who are finding the content difficult and we give training and opportunity to develop independent learning and research skills – essential pre-university skills.

What can I do when I complete my qualifications?

There is a shortage of people in the UK going into jobs which require physics skills.  As such there are a lot of opportunities for those people that are interested in this area.  Employers are looking for people who can think rationally and objectively, with technical knowledge and practical skills.
Higher Education opportunities include degrees in Physics, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Design, Medicine, Archaeology, Geophysics, Forensics, Banking, Accounting, Theoretical Physics, Mathematics, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Economics, to name but a few.

How can I find out more information?

If you want to research more about Physics opportunities post university a good place to start is the Institute of Physics Website – this is the Physics Professional Body and they offer free membership for A-level students studying Physics. 

If you have any further questions please contact Miss Duffy in the Physics Department.