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Physics A Level (Pearson) at Hampton Sixth Form

Course description

A-Level Physics builds upon the work that students have completed at GCSE, but aims to broaden and deepen students’ knowledge and understanding. The application of topics to everyday life will be discussed at every opportunity, for example, sport and motion.


Students complete four units over the two years:


Year 12 (A2 & AS)


Unit 1: students study mechanics and materials. In mechanics, students will study rectilinear motion, forces, energy and power; links to sport will be included where possible. In the study of materials, students will look at the properties of materials including viscosity, stretch and strain. Applications include: the production of sweets and biscuits and spare part surgery.


Unit 2: students will find out about waves, electricity and the nature of light. The properties of waves include standing waves, refraction, diffraction and polarisation; applications include medical physics and music. In electricity, students study ohmic and non-ohmic conductors, potential dividers and thermistors. Finally, students will debate the wave/particle nature of light.


Year 13 (A2)


Unit 4: students will study further mechanics (momentum and circular motion), electric and magnetic fields and particle physics. Applications of these topics include a modern railway system and the work carried out at the Hadron Collider at CERN.


Unit 5: involves the study of thermal energy, nuclear decay, oscillations, astrophysics and cosmology. Several contexts could be used to teach parts of this unit including space technology, medical physics and the construction of buildings in earthquake zones.


The coursework component for A2 involves students carrying out 12 assessed practicals throughout the year and a third exam paper assessing their competency in the experimental techniques learned during these.

Entry requirements

Students would normally be expected to have achieved a minimum grade 6-6 in GCSE Combined Science or grade 6 in GCSE Physics and grade 6 in GCSE Maths.  Physics has a large amount of Mathematical content and students need to be very competent with the subject.

Applied Science GCSE is not a suitable preparation for A Level Physics.


AS – 100% Examination

A2 – 100% Examination


Examination is by two 95 minute exams for AS, and three for A2, the third being a practical based paper, assessing students competency in experimental techniques.

This subject is linear in nature i.e. AS assessments do not count toward the final grade.

Future opportunities

A-Level Physics students learn and develop skills which allow them to communicate, analyse, criticise, argue and discuss.  A successful physicist will have excellent numeracy and good literacy skills.  Students considering degrees in science, engineering or architecture should take A Level Physics. A Level Physics is valued highly by universities.

Further information

Physics links with many subjects – it compliments Chemistry, Biology and Maths; the wave aspects links in with Music and earthquakes in Geography.

Contact Mr Tarpey, Head of Physics via e-mail at


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: 19 October 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years

Contact details