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Physics A-Level at Ranelagh School

Course description

The aim of the course is to foster the knowledge and understanding of concepts rather than just the ability to remember facts. Students will learn how to recognise the operation of the principles of physics in practical applications and to be able to apply their understanding of the subject to novel situations, forming opinions on controversial topics. Students will have the opportunity to develop observational skills in practical situations and to make and interpret quantitative measurements.

Through experimental investigation, students should learn something of the evidence on which the laws and theories of physics are based. They should also become familiar with the use of models as an aid to understanding whilst at the same time recognising the limitation of such an approach. Most of the content of the course has already been studiedat an elementary level through the GCSE Science syllabus: the A Level syllabus takes each topic and studies it in much greater detail. Students will also explore new topics from the modern physics arena.

Physics provides many opportunities for developing skills, particularly numeracy, problem solving, and both verbal and written communication. At this level, Physics requi res the use of IT for investigation and research, as well as processing information and presenting reports.


Course content


  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and radiation
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and energy
  • Electricity
  • Further mechanics and thermal physics
  • Fields
  • Nuclear physics
  • Option topic, plus practical skills and data analysis
  • Option topic: astrophysics


Entry requirements

Students undertaking this course are expected to have a keen interest in the subject and need to be competent mathematicians. Studying A Level Mathematics is advantageous, but not essential.

Prospective students are expected to achieve AB grades or above in GCSE Core and Additional Science or grade A or above in Physics; students are also expected to achieve grade 6 or above in Mathematics.


3 x written papers of 2 hrs each - two 34% of A level and one 32% of A level - mixture of short and long-answer questions, multiple choice questions - questions on practical skills and data analysis, short and long-answer question on option topic

Future opportunities

The possession of A level Physics shows that you are numerate, can analyse problems and solve them in a logical fashion; a basic requirement for many careers in business or administration. Advanced Level Physics is essential for many scientific careers, particularly in engineering and electronics. It is also essential for careers in astronomy, astrophysics, meteorology computer science, nuclear physics, acoustics, optics, metallurgy and aeronautics, and is useful for many other careers such as medicine and veterinary science.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ranelagh School directly.

Last updated date: 04 January 2017

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