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Physics

Aims

To learn how and why the Universe behaves in the way it does.
To understand how Physics is applied to a multitude of situations in everyday life.
To develop a fascination for the scope of Physics, ranging from the extremely large (the Universe) to the incredibly small (the structure of matter).

What will I study?

In A Level Physics, all students will have the opportunity to take an AS Level qualification at the end of Year 12, although this may not be necessary for those intending to proceed to the full A-Level.

The OCR Physics A Course combines a blend of practical and theoretical Physics and is an excellent foundation for a wide range of university courses. At AS level topics covered include: Forces, Motion, Electrons, Waves, Photons, Electrical Circuits and Quantum Physics.

In addition, the full A Level topics include: Thermodynamics, Oscillations, Gravitational Fields, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Capacitors, Electric Fields, Electromagnetism, Nuclear and Particle Physics and Medical Imaging

How will I be assessed?

By two 2¼ hour papers and one 1½ hour paper at the end of Year 13, covering all the content studied in both Year 12 and Year 13. Compulsory practical content will be integrated into both years of the course and the content of these tasks will be examined in the three written papers. There will be a practical skills endorsement as part of the A level. At AS level there will be two 1½ hour papers at the end of Year 12 covering all the topics studied in Year 12 including practical work.

Desirable requirements

If you have an enquiring mind, are keen to discover how things work and enjoy challenges, then Physics is for you. A minimum of either Grade B in Physics at GCSE, or a Grade B in Science and in Additional Science (and Further Additional Science if taken), plus at least a Grade B in Mathematics GCSE is required to access A level material in Physics. In order to achieve a good or very good grade at AS/A level, however, it is likely that a candidate will have A or A* grades at GCSE. You do not need to take Advanced Level Mathematics. However, A level Physics requires students to be confident at applying Mathematics to areas of Physics and an A level in Mathematics (Mechanics) does significantly enhance their Physics studies.

How will I study?

You will receive a specific textbook to support your studies and have access to many additional resources.  Group sizes vary but are around 12 students.  Most lessons involve discussion since Physics problems are best solved by sharing ideas.  You will also be expected to work independently, use the library and internet to find current scientific articles and use additional textbooks.  Homework will be related to and extend the work done in class, giving you practice in tackling a wide variety of problems. Your practical skills will be developed as you progress and will consolidate your coursework at AS level and A level.  You will design experiments, use data-logging and devise your own models.  You will learn to work individually and in groups.

Where will it lead?

Physics is incredibly versatile. There is exciting work in Astronomy, Electronics, Meteorology, Power Generation, Telecommunications, Scientific Journalism and the Aerospace industry. It is useful as a qualification for Architecture, Business, Dentistry, Engineering, Geophysics, Health Studies, Material Science, Medical Physics and Pharmacy, to  name but a few.

 

“I chose to study Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Further Maths and Latin at AS. Taking five subjects has been challenging, but I am very glad I chose to do so. I enjoy all my subjects and have found Physics to be fascinating. As well as delving deeper into topics covered at GCSE, for example electricity, we have also studied completely new aspects of Physics, such as Quantum Physics, which has been very interesting. Personally, I am intrigued by the concept of wave-particle duality. We no longer do ISAs, but some required practicals are required which help us to understand better the theory we study. I am continuing to study Physics in Year 13 and am very much looking forward to expanding my knowledge further. I hope to study a course which includes Physics at University.”