Physics A Level

Overview

Physics is the fundamental science that lies at the heart of modern engineering, technology and medicine. The course follows the Edexcel 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.

Progression

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.

Course Content

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 – Working as a Physicist

  • Physical quantities and units
  • Measurements
  • 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 – Mechanics

  • Motion
  • Forces in action
  • Work, energy and power
  • Materials
  • Momentum

Module 4 – Electrons, waves and photons

  • Charge and current
  • Energy, power and resistance
  • Electrical circuits
  • Waves
  • Quantum physics

Students will learn about electrons, electric current, electrical circuits, wave properties, electromagnetic waves and introduces key ideas of quantum physics. Students have the opportunity to appre­ciate how scientific ideas of quantum physics developed over time and their validity rested on the foundations of experimental work.

Module 5 – Further MEchanics and Fields

  • Circular motion
  • Oscillations
  • Thermodynamics
  • Electric, Magnetic and Gravitional fields
  • Capacitors

The aim is to show the impact Newtonian mechanics has on physics. Students will learn about circular motion, oscillations, thermal physics and the behaviour of electric, magnetic and gravitational fields.

Module 6 – Nuclear Radiation and Space

  • Nuclear Radiation
  • Particle Physics
  • Space

This section covers probing matter to find out about the structure of the atom, sub-atomic particles, radiation and the exploration of space.

 

Educational Experiences

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.

Assessment

A Level students will complete all modules and take 3 exams at the end of the second year.

Students will complete a practical endorsement in physics. This must be completed to pass on to degree courses within the scientific field.

Entry Requirements

Students wishing to include A Levels in their programme need to have (or expect to achieve) at least five GCSE passes, with at least two at Grade 5 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 Mathematics and Grade 5 in English plus Grades 6, 6 in Combined Science or Grade 6 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 2018

The application form for the academic year 2018-2019 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 A Level in Physics information leaflet.

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