Physics

A Level

Course code
HSDC-SD-AP2PHY
Type of study
Full-Time
Examination board
OCR

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Overview

Physics is a fundamental science. You’ll learn about the entire universe, from the tiniest fragment of matter to the largest assembly of galaxies. Studying Physics encourages independent and creative thinking.

This course involves analysing and solving problems, skills highly valued by universities and employers alike. You’ll study motion, waves and oscillations, electricity, capacitors, photons and quantum mechanics, astrophysics and the universe, gravitation, electric and magnetic fields, matter, nuclear physics, medical physics, practical skills and measurement. Physics combines well with other STEM subjects and earth sciences.

Physics is the most fundamental of the natural sciences. It uses quantum theory to explain the structure and behaviour of matter, linking with Chemistry and materials science. Challenging us with the discoveries of modern astrophysics and cosmology.

A Level Physics lays the groundwork for all such concepts and most students go on to study physics-based subjects at university, or related disciplines like engineering. Physics is also an asset if you aim to study medicine, veterinary science or natural sciences.

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English and Mathematics at grade 4 or above. You will also need Science and Maths at Level 5 or above.

On this course you will study topics which reflect the exciting ways recent developments in Science and Technology have had direct impact on our lives.

  • Mechanics – How moving things are described, how to calculate the height reached by a firework, how the laws of motion and forces apply to modern sports and to car safety
  • Materials – How engineers test and choose different materials
  • Electricity  – How circuits are analysed, designed and tested, how devices can be used to automate things such as streetlights and incubators, how electrical resistance is used in mapping archaeological sites
  • Waves –  The physics behind musical instruments, lasers, colours in a soap films, polaroid sunglasses
  • The Quantum world –  What photons are and how photodetectors work
  • Gases – How to calculate the pressure in a diving cylinder or to explain how the pressure changes with temperature
  • Gravity – How to predict the motion of a asteroid or calculate the energy needed to launch a satellite
  • Cosmology –  The evidence for the Big Bang model and how the universe evolved
  • Stars –  How they form, the differences between them and what a black hole is
  • Nuclear physics –  How to predict nuclear reactions, how a nuclear power station works and what antimatter is
  • Particles – What makes up neutrons and protons and how we know
  • Medical Physics – The techniques doctors use to help diagnose you

South Downs College has modern laboratories with projectors, computers to analyse results and a lot of experimental equipment. You will regularly carry out experiments, investigations or see demonstrations. Quite often you will analyse data using IT.

There are opportunities to go to sessions at Portsmouth University on Cosmology, Medical Physics or Engineering.

Physics is a two year course, this means it is studied for two years with exams at the end of the course.

Over these two years you will be given the opportunity to gain a Practical Endorsement. This endorsement will be based on experimental work and be a clarification of your experimental skills. At the end of the two years your A Level grade will be based on written exams.

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Contact us

Everyone at the College was really helpful, and there’s lots of facilities, meaning it’s very easy to get your work done on time, and get good grades. The teaching and support was excellent, they were always on top of it, and made sure you got work done on time and you were challenged. Everyone is friendly and its really diverse, meaning you can get involved in lots of different things.

Conor Ward, BTEC student

The teaching has been really good, I’ve loved all of my teachers, they’ve all been really nice and supportive.

Jodie Hook

The teaching and support was really great, the quality was really great, all the teachers really care about your education as well as your wellbeing, they take everything into consideration and they’re great.

Katie Whittingham, A Level student

Progression

A Level Physics lays the groundwork for all such concepts and most students go on to study physics-based subjects at university, or related disciplines like engineering. Physics is also an asset if you aim to study medicine, veterinary science or natural sciences.

Physics is an A Level subject accepted by universities for a whole range of degrees. Some of the most related degrees and careers that students have gone on to include physics, radiography, theoretical physics, astrophysics, architecture, engineering, mathematics, ICT, piloting, finance, education and management or into the Armed Services.

Careers

Physicist
Engineer
Designer
Architect
Materials Scientist
Pilot
Radiographer

What to do next

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