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A Level Physics at The John of Gaunt School

Course description

Physics is the study of the laws that govern the physical world. It tries to understand the nature of basic things such as motion, forces, energy, matter, heat, sound and light. These are found throughout the universe, and so physicists study a wide range of topics. You might find a physicist smashing atomic particles together to find out how the universe began or you might find a physicist orbiting the Earth as an astronaut. Physicists also work in hospitals, designing new instruments or scanning techniques. Some physicists even create smaller and faster electronics for the next generation of computers.

Course content

Unit 1
Particle physics introduces students to the fundamental properties and nature of matter, radiation and quantum phenomena.  In contrast, the study of electricity in this module builds on and develops GCSE studies and provides opportunities for practical work, looking into important applications.

Unit 2
The first section introduces vectors and develops understanding of forces and energy.  In the second section, materials are studied in terms of their bulk properties and tensile strength. The final section develops knowledge and understanding of wave characteristics and properties and their applications including refraction, diffraction, superposition and interference.

Unit 3
The PSA will be based around centre assessment throughout the AS course of the candidate’s ability to follow and undertake certain standard practical activities.The ISA will require the candidate to undertake practical work, collect and process data and use it to answer questions in a written test.

Unit 4
This unit builds on the ideas and knowledge from AS.  In the first section it advances the study of momentum and introduces circular motion and oscillatory motion and Gravitational fields.  In the second section it covers Electric and Magnetic fields and basic electromagnetic induction together with applications to capacitors and generation and transmission of alternating current.

Unit 5
Nuclear Physics looks at the characteristics of the nucleus, the properties of unstable nuclei and how energy is obtained from the nucleus. Thermal Physics studies the thermal properties of materials and gases.The Option Topic (the preferences of the group will be taken into account when deciding which one to opt for) is chosen from; Astronomy and Cosmology, Medical Physics, Applied Physics and Turning Points in Physics.

Unit 6
The PSA will be based around centre assessment throughout the AS course of the candidate’s ability to follow and undertake certain standard practical activities.The ISA will require the candidate to undertake practical work, collect and process data and use it to answer questions in a written test.

Entry requirements

You will need at least 5 A*-C GCSEs to enter the Sixth Form. You must have a Grade B or higher in either Physics or Additional Science for this course. It is recommended that students have also attained a B grade or higher in Mathematics.

Future opportunities

The applications, like career opportunities, are infinite. Employers today seek out people who can prove their ability to think logically, understand complex ideas and apply them to the real world. Whether you want to pursue a career in Science, the Media, Education, Business or a host of other fields, Physics can give you the edge.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The John of Gaunt School directly.

Last updated date: 05 June 2015

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