Physics

Debbie Cornelius
Debbie Cornelius

WHAT IS PHYSICS?

Physics is a rapidly evolving field of science concerned with the properties of matter and energy. Providing an insight into the behaviour of matter and is used to answer some of our most fundamental questions relating to our origins and existence, it is a mathematical subject, using formulae and logic to solve problems, predict events and describe observable phenomenon.

WHY STUDY THIS COURSE?

Forming the basis of many other sciences including medicine, astronomy and engineering, it develops your understanding of the sub-atomic particles that are the building blocks of life. Physics enables you to apply models and formulae to understand the nature of building structures, technology and the automotive industry.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM PHYSICS?

You will challenge your ability to use logic and maths to solve problems and develop new ideas, and there are ample opportunities to fine tune your practical skills throughout the course. You will learn many new terms and theories to support your development, and benefit from external exposure to subject experts and trips that will enhance your understanding.

HOW IS THE COURSE ASSESSED?

You will complete 3 examinations at the end of the two year course.

WHO IS THE COURSE SUITABLE FOR?

There is lots of new terminology to learn, so self-study skills and a good level of motivation are vital. If you enjoy Mathematics and Physics at GCSE and like to see a real world application of your skills, Physics could be the subject for you!

WHAT CAN I DO WITH AN A-LEVEL IN PHYSICS?

An A-level in Physics is a valuable one, and can lead to university degrees in Physics, Mathematics, engineering and Medical Science, depending on your other A-level subjects. It shows a high level of numeracy, logic and reasoning, and is desirable for numerous university courses and careers.

WHAT WILL I STUDY?

In Year 1 you will study in more detail than at GCSE topics such as Mechanics, Materials, Waves and Electricity. Formulae are learnt and applied to different situations, for example to determine a particle’s motion taking account of any forces acting, to calculate moments and whether an object is experiencing a rotation; calculating the resultant path of projectiles using the constant acceleration formulae, workingout the value of the extension of a metal wire under tension and learning how to set up basic electrical circuits and calculating current and potential difference at particular locations. The AS level course also includes a new topic which teaches particle theory – here you will learn about the sub-atomic particles that exist in each atom, how they interact, and understand about the different types of radiation produced under certain conditions.

In Year 2 you will study further mechanics, building on the work studied in Year 1 but including circular motion and simple harmonic motion. Other topics include thermal physics, nuclear physics, and gravitational, electric and magnetic field theory.

ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES WITHIN THIS SUBJECT

A trip to CERN in Geneva, Switzerland is planned for each academic year, and places allocated on a first come, first served basis. Students also have the opportunity to take part in the CREST award as part of the Science and Maths Honours programme, and participate in the Engineering Careers Awareness Day run by STEMNET. The opportunity to apply for the Nuffield Summer Placement scheme is also encouraged for able students. In addition, each year new enrichment opportunities are sought.

Entry Requirements

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 4 – 9, across four separate subjects, to include GCSE Mathematics and/or English/English Language.
  • In addition, a grade 6 or above is required in GCSE Mathematics and a grade 5 in Core and Additional Science, or a 5 in Physics. You must also study A-Level Mathematics.