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A Level Physics

By studying Physics you will learn about the entire Universe, from the smallest fragment of matter to the largest assembly of galaxies, whilst being trained to think creatively and independently, analysing and solving problems in novel situations. These are all skills highly valued by employers. Physics is an essential subject for students intending to pursue a career in many fields of Science, including Physics, Engineering and Medicine.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English Language and usually Mathematics, as well as Science or Physics at grade B.

You will also need to study Mathematics with your Physics course.

Course Content

OCR Course Specification

Year 1 – units provide a graduated path from GCSE including:

Communications – electric circuits, signals, waves and optics

Designer materials – properties of materials and making new materials.

Waves and quanta – electromagnetic waves and the behaviour of photons

Space and time – develops classical mechanics

Coursework is an integral part of the AS: Measurement project and Materials report and presentation.

Year 2 – units include:

Models – computer models, capacitors, oscillators, orbits, gravitational fields, space & the universe

Matter – atoms, kinetic theory and thermal behaviour

Fields – electromagnetism, electric fields and potential

Fundamental particles – atoms, nuclear structure, radiation and risk

Advances in Physics – case studies, how ideas in physics work together

Coursework – practical investigation and research report

How will I be taught?

Active learning strategies will be used as far as possible together with presentations and demonstrations by lecturers e.g. structured learning questions from course book, practice questions, class discussions/note taking, reporting back via written assignments, practical experimentation and investigation, use of interactive software and video clips. Each student will have their own CD-ROM including revision guides, checklists, activities and questions, images and readings, computer tools and data to work with.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment: Module written exams 80% and coursework 20%.

Year 1- Two written papers (one of 1hr, one of 2hrs) and two short pieces of coursework.

Year 2 – Two written papers (one of 1hr 15m, 1 of 2hrs) and two pieces of coursework.

Will I need any extra equipment?

Course CD-ROMs and text books are provided. Students are required to have a scientific calculator, a transparent plastic rule (30cm) and a protractor, as well as usual writing instruments.

What qualifications will I get?

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be awarded an A level in Physics.

What will it allow me to do in the future?

A good A level pass in a range of subjects will assist a student to progress to higher education or appropriate employment. Physics combines well with other Physical and Biological Sciences, Computing and Mathematics.

Employers value a Physics qualification as it shows that you can break down problems and provide solutions. Almost all Physics students at South Downs progress to higher education. Career paths include Sciences, Architecture, Engineering, Mathematics, ICT, Computing, Pilot, Armed Forces, Finance, Education and Management.

Course Information

Students, aged over 19 on the 1 September of the year the course commences will be required to pay tuition and assessment fees. If you are in receipt of an income based benefit please ask about financial assistance, which may be available.

Please contact Customer Services on 0800 056 0511 or email customerservices@southdowns.ac.uk for further information.

This subject became a Linear A level in 2015. This means in order to achieve a full A level you will study the subject for two years and take all your exams at the end of this period. Further information will be available at your College interview.


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