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Physics is the fundamental science that lies at the heart of modern engineering, technology and medicine. The course follows the OCR A Level specification, with emphasis on concepts and practical skills.
What goes well with this course?
Maths and Chemistry are the traditional partner subjects, however, Physics can be successfully combined with most subjects e.g. Biology, History, Economics, Government & Politics and Philosophy.
Physics affects many different areas of modern life and Physics graduates are in high demand. They have a wide range of career pathways open to them, including:
- Research and Development
- Technical Management
- Finance and Banking
- Computing and Software Design
- Energy or the Health Service
- Media, Marketing, and Teaching
Students studying A Level Physics often go on to study Physics at degree level, or pursue careers in Physics or applied areas such as Engineering.
Module 1 – Development of practical skills in physics
Practical skills assessed in a written examination
Practical skills assessed in practical endorsement
Physics is a practical subject. The development and acquisition of practical skills is fundamental. The course provides students with the opportunity to develop experimental methods and techniques for analysing empirical data. Skills in planning, implementing, analysing and evaluating, will be assessed in the written papers.
Module 2 – Foundations of physics
Physical quantities and units
Scalars and vectors
The aim is to introduce important conventions and ideas that permeate the fabric of physics. Understanding of physical quantities, S.I. units, scalars and vectors helps physicists to effectively communicate their ideas within the scientific community.
Module 3 – Forces and motion
Forces in action
Work, energy and power
Module 4 – Electrons, waves and photons
Charge and current
Energy, power and resistance
This module introduces key ideas of quantum physics. Students will learn about electrons, electric current, electrical circuits, wave properties, electromagnetic waves and, of course, quantum physics. Students have the opportunity to appreciate how scientific ideas of quantum physics developed over time (HSW7) and their validity rested on the foundations of experimental work/
Module 5 – Newtonian world and astrophysics
Astrophysics and cosmology
The aim is to show the impact Newtonian mechanics has on physics. Students will learn about thermal physics, circular motion, oscillations, gravitational field, astrophysics and cosmology.
Module 6 – Particles and medical physics
Magnetic fields and electromagnetism
Nuclear and particle physics
This section introduces the basic properties of capacitors and how they are used in electrical circuits.
Course Specific Trips, Visits & Experiences
The College runs a number of educational experiences each year to enable students to contextualise their learning. These experiences include trips, for example to St George’s teaching hospital to look at the Medical Imaging Process (MRI scans). The College also has a programme of visiting speakers, which includes representatives from Higher Education and Industry.
AS students will complete modules 1-4 and take two summer exams:
- Breadth in physics, 1hr 30 mins, 50%, modules 1-4
- Depth in physics, 1hr 30 mins, 50%, modules 1-4
A Level students will complete all modules and take 3 exams at the end of the second year:
- Modelling physics, 2hr 15mins, 37%, modules 1,2,3,5
- Exploring physics, 2hr 15mins, 37%, modules 1,2,4,6
- Unified physics, 1hr 30mins, 26%, All modules.
Students will complete a practical endorsement in physics. This must be completed to pass the overall qualification.
All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme.
In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirements:
- Grade 6 in Maths and either B in both Core and Additional Science or B in Physics, or
- Grade 5 in Maths and either an A in both Core and Additional Science or A in Physics
Students will enjoy this course and be successful if they:
- have wide interests (it’s a big subject!)
- have a can-do attitude and aren't put off by set-backs
- like Mathematics and logical reasoning
- always want to know WHY
- enjoy science shown on TV and YouTube
Physics students should enjoy and be good at problem solving and working with other people. They should be able to calculate with large and small numbers, deal with simple Algebra, and use diagrams and other graphics to explain their ideas.
How to Apply
Applications for entry September 2017
The application form for the academic year 2017-2018 is available to download here.
Students should return their completed forms directly to Coulsdon College, NOT their schools. All applications will be considered according to the College's Admissions Policy Admissions Policy.
Please see the Admissions timetable for information about the College’s enrolment process.
Download Course Leaflet
Download the AS/A Level in Physics information leaflet.