What is A level Physics?

Physics is about questioning how the world around us works and looking for answers through a combination of experiments and theoretical work. Physics is used to answer some of our most fundamental questions relating to our origins and existence. It is a mathematical course, using formulae and logic to solve problems, predict events and describe observable phenomenon.

Entry requirements

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

Subject leader

Jenny Wilson

"Studying physics at RSFC has been a very enjoyable experience. The content is interesting, engaging and has changed the way I look at and understand the physical world . Taking A level physics is very complex and diverse, but if you’re up for a challenge, it is one of the most rewarding subjects that you can choose."

Jai Kempster

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 with 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.


For September 2021


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