Physics is an exciting and relevant subject, fascinating to study for its own sake, but also leading on to a variety of careers, from engineering and communications to medicine and cutting edge research. Physics is thought of as the most fundamental science, but not all scientists end up working in a laboratory: volcanologists, seismologists, structural and civil engineers, architects, nuclear scientists, pilots and astronauts - all started by studying Physics at A Level.
In Year 12 you will study mechanics, electricity, waves and a touch of quantum physics as well. Mechanics involves learning in detail about how and why different types of motion take place, how energy is involved in motion and how materials are classified for engineering purposes. In the electricity unit you will learn about basic electrical circuits and their applications, and you will become familiar with wave motion and some wave phenomena and how the quantum theory revolutionized physics and other sciences. During the year you will use a range of measuring instruments during practical investigations, including completing a thorough analysis and evaluation of each.
Throughout the course you will constantly build upon your knowledge and skills as you study more extended mechanics - thermal physics. Later in the second year you learn about electric and magnetic fields, nuclear physics, medical imaging using radiation in hospitals, and astronomy to model the universe. You will also develop the ability to make synoptic links between materials covered in Year 12 and Year 13.
The two year A Level course is assessed through three formal exams; Modelling Physics (37%), Exploring Physics (37%) and Unified Physics (26%), all of which are sat at the end of the final year. A separate practical endorsement certificate is awarded to candidates demonstrating sufficient skill in key areas.
GCSE level 6-6 or above in Combined Science or a level 6 in separate Physics and level 7 in Maths. It is an expectation that Maths A Level will be studied alongside Physics.
Gaining an A Level in Physics is a passport to a diverse range of exciting careers including engineering, astronomy, nuclear scientist, architecture, as well as innumerable research posts.