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If you are looking to study A-Levels please apply for up to three subjects. Simply add each course to your basket or visit our Apply section.
Are you curious about how the world works? Do you have an interest in a range of subjects from chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, or biology? Are you interested in pursuing a career in a STEM industry such as Healthcare, engineering, computing, or maths? Are you interested in undertaking practical experiments to back-up your learning of knowledge in the classroom? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, then Physics is the subject for you!
Physics is the study of the fundamental mathematical relationships that govern natural phenomena and the application of these relationships. You will gain a set of incredibly useful skills that make you attractive to a wide range of employers from engineering and manufacturing, computer programming, the construction and aerospace industries, medicine, and academia. If you take Physics, you must also study A Level Mathematics alongside to help develop your mathematical reasoning skills.
A Level Physics is a two-year programme and is taught on the OCR A specification. At the end of the first year, you will sit AS exams before going on to sit the full A Level in the second year. There are three papers for the final A Level as well as a practical endorsement qualification that shows you have completed a series of practical experiments throughout your studies.
A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 and above, including English Language.
A grade 7 in GCSE Maths or above, and a grade 7 in GCSE Physics or 7-7 in GCSE Combined Science or above.
We will accept you with a grade 6 in GCSE Maths and a grade 6 in GCSE Physics or GCSE Combined Science if you pass an entrance assessment.
If you take A Level Physics must also study A Level Maths alongside
In the first year you will study four key units.
1. 'Development of Practical Skills in Physics’: In this unit you will develop your skills and abilities for experimental methods to analyse empirical data. You will learn how to plan, implement, analyse, and evaluate experiments and gain an understanding of how a range of apparatus and techniques can be used.
2. ‘Foundations of physics’: This unit introduces you to the important conventions and ideas that are present in the world of physics. You will gain an understanding of S.I. units, how to take measurements, and how scalar and vectors quantities operate. This will provide you with a fundamental understanding of the basics of physics from which the rest of your learning will develop.
3. ‘Forces and motion’: This unit will introduce you to the principles behind forces and motion and how to model these using mathematics. You will develop your skills in kinematics, linear motion and projectile motion whilst also exploring how forces operate in motion by looking at dynamics, equilibrium density and pressure. You will take this knowledge to then explore potential and kinetic energy, power, materials and Newtonian laws of motion and momentum further.
4. ‘Electrons, waves, and photons’: This unit will introduce key ideas of quantum physics. You will gain an appreciation of what electrons are how they behave in electrical circuits and a basic understanding of the properties of waves and the different forms of waves from electromagnetic, superposition and stationary waves. Lastly you will also learn about photons, the photoelectric effect and wave-particle duality.
5. ‘Newtonian world and astrophysics’: In this unit you will learn about the impact that Newtonian mechanics has on physics. From exploring the microscopic motion of atoms, to understanding macroscopic quantities such as pressure and temperature, to predicting the motion of planets and distant galaxies; Newtonian laws help explain these. You will learn about thermal physics, circular motion, oscillations, gravitational fields, and astrophysics.
6. ‘Particles and medical physics’: This unit focuses on the role particles and physics has in the medical industry. You will learn about the role of capacitors and their properties, electrical fields and Coulomb’s law and electromagnetism, including the application of Lenz’s law and Faraday’s law. You will also learn about Nuclear and particle physics and their applications to medical imaging.
7. ‘Practical Endorsement’: Throughout your studies you will undertake 12 assessed practical activities. These are there to show you have demonstrated competence in the range of skills and techniques required in Physics.
Physics is an essential subject for a range of different careers. Combining Physics with different combinations of other subjects help provide direction for these. Due to the mathematical content of physics, all learners undertaking this A Level must also study A Level Mathematics. Adding Biology or Chemistry to Physics allows you to specialise in the Sciences for a range of medical careers. Combining Physics with Maths, Further Maths and Chemistry provides the foundation for a focus on engineering or electronics.
There is a range of opportunities to extend your learning whilst studying Physics. You could join our Medical or Science academies to further extend your understanding and develop your skills in the subjects. Physics learners also can take part in our regular ‘STEM@Lunch’ talks series. This includes regular talks from academics and employers.