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physics Physics- AS/A2

Exam Board: OCR

How is Physics involved in producing weather forecasts? Why is Physics necessary to take scans of the human body? How do architects and engineers use Physics to design bridges, buildings, roads, aircraft and cars? How is Physics used to date archaeological remains?

Is Physics for you? • You must have achieved at least 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including at least a grade BB in GCSE Science Double Award or grade B in GCSE Physics and at least one other Science subject. You also need at least a Grade B in GCSE Maths. You may wish to consider studying AS/A2 Maths, AS Use of Maths or AS/A2 Statistics alongside this subject to help you develop the necessary mathematical skills required to study Physics at University level.

You are confident with algebra and trigonometry and enjoy using Maths to solve problems. You are interested in how things work and by the fundamental questions about the Universe. You enjoy exploring connections between Physics and other subjects such as Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Design Technology. You want to study a discipline that is used in many areas of professional activity including engineering, health and biomedicine, the public services and utilities, environmental monitoring, education, and computing.

What will I learn?

A2 Year

AS Year

The Newtonian World

Mechanics You will explore the physics of projectiles and motion, forces and energy and examine the mechanical properties of materials in extreme situations, such as car crashes. You will investigate what happens to materials subject to stress and strain and learn how to calculate the energy transferred by cannon balls and in collisions.

Electrons, Waves and Photons You will explore the topic of electricity looking at what current is, how and why it moves and how we can utilise it. You will also learn about the properties and behaviour of waves, including interference and diffraction, before studying the principles of Quantum Physics and the wave/particle duality of light.

Practical Skills in Physics 1 You will carry out three practical assessments which will measure your developing qualitative, quantitative and evaluative practical skills. Physics is concerned with the study of the universe from the smallest to the largest scale, why it is the way it is and how it works. The course is taught through a variety of methods, including practical experiments and demonstrations. ICT will be used for simulations, processing data and web research.

How will I be assessed? The Physics course is assessed through two written examinations (80%) and an element of coursework (20%).

What activities can I get involved in? You will have the opportunity to apply your learning to real life situations through College trips and visits. These may include visiting an operational power station, Jodrell Bank Space Centre and a medical centre to view imaging equipment. The College has lots of exciting enrichment and C.V building opportunities including the chance to earn the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award, learn a new skill, learn a language, join a club, take up or develop a sport or take on a new challenge. See the College Prospectus for further information about what is on offer.

Expect more from your sixth form


You will explore Mechanics in more depth, learning about Newton’s Laws, the physics of collisions, circular motion, oscillations, gravity and the orbits of the planets. You will also i nvestigate thermal physics which examines the four states of matter, temperature and heat and the behaviour of ideal gases.

Fields, Particles and Frontiers of Physics Within this diverse topic you will examine electric and magnetic fields, magnetism and capacitors. You will also learn about nuclear physics, the fundamental particles, radioactivity and nuclear fission and fusion. The unit then explores medical imaging (including ultrasound, X-Rays and MRI & PET scanners) before describing the evaluation, structure and fate of the Universe in the Astrophysics module.

Practical Skills in Physics 2 You will carry out 3 practical assessments which will measure your developing practical skills (as for AS Physics).

Where does it lead? A-Level Physics is an important qualification for many careers. Many Universities prefer (and some require) you to have studied Physics for degree courses in the Physical Sciences (including Physics, Electronics, Astronomy and Material Science) and the Medical Sciences (including Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy and Radiography). It is also important for many applied subjects such as Architecture and many types of Engineering. Many students go on to study Physics at university, which can lead to a career in research and development, either in a university or in industry. Students of Physics are particularly welcome in areas such as Law, Accountancy and Computing as it is highly regarded by employers as a test of problem-solving ability and logical thought.

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