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Physics at St Mary's Catholic High School

Course description

Learning about physics will help you to gain an understanding of how the world works. In addition, studying physics will help you develop mathematical, investigative, practical and ICT skills.

Course content

AS Physics

Unit 1
1.  Matter and radiation
2.  Quarks and leptons
3.  Quantum phenomena
4.  Electric current
5.  Direct current circuits
6.  Alternating currents

Unit 2
7.   Forces in equilibrium
8.   On the move
9.   Motion and force
10. Work, energy and power
11. Materials
12. Waves
13. Optic

Unit 3
Investigative and practical skills

A2 Physics
Unit 4
1.  Force and momentum
2.  Motion in a circle
3.  Simple harmonic motion
4.  Gravitational fields
5.  Electric fields
6.  Capacitors
7.  Magnetic fields
8.  Electromagnetic induction

Unit 5
9.  Radioactivity
10. Nuclear energy
11. Thermal Physics
12. Gases

Unit 6
Investigative and practical skills

Entry requirements

For AS study you will need a minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade B with a minimum of one other GCSE grade C or above.  You must have GCSE Maths and English at a grade C or above.  We would expect you to have at least a GCSE  grade B in the subject you wish to study or a closely related discipline.


This AQA course comprises of three units:
Units 1 and 2 are examined in June and are each worth 40% of the AS. Unit 3 is teacher assessed and based on the experimental skills used within the course. This coursework component is split into Practical Skills Assessments (PSA) and Investigative Skills Assignments (ISA) and together they are worth 20% of the AS. Further details can be found on the AQA website:

Financial information

St. Mary’s Sixth Form has a bursary scheme that supports students, who meet eligibility criteria, with the cost of attending college.

The bursary scheme is made up of 2 parts - a payment of £1,200 to a small group of the most vulnerable and a discretionary fund for schools to distribute. The most vulnerable are classified as:

• young people in care;

• care leavers;                         

• young people in receipt of Income Support;

• disabled young people in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) who are also in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

The discretionary element can be accessed via an application form and students should contact the Sixth Form office for further details. The College will consider every request for financial assistance and will endeavour to target the fund to help those students in greatest need

Future opportunities

This course is useful or essential for a wide range of careers. These include all branches of engineering, careers in scientific research, medical physics, radiography and other areas linked to medicine, electronics, meteorology, environmental science and geophysics. Physics A-Level is often taken by people intending to study medicine,
dentistry and pharmacy. Students go on to study a wide range of other courses after taking ‘A’Level Physics, ranging from accountancy to veterinary science.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years