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Physics AS and A Level at York College

Course description

Physics will give you the chance to investigate and understand some of the fundamental laws of the universe, ranging from the tiniest particles of matter to vast star systems. 

1st Year Topics:

• Measurements and their errors
• Particles and radiation
• Waves and quantum physics
• Mechanics and materials
• Electricity and electrical circuits

2nd Year Topics
• Further mechanics and thermal physics
• Fields and their consequences
• Nuclear physics

Optional units
In the second year as a college we choose to study an optional unit. This will depend on the interests of the group and the area of study the group can be most successful in.

• Astrophysics
• Medical physics
• Engineering physics
• Turning points in physics
• Electronics

This is a challenging, but rewarding subject with a high mathematical content. Physics is a highly respected course which is very desirable to support university applications or to gain employment.

Entry requirements

You should have a minimum of 2 grade Bs and 4 grade Cs at GCSE including GCSE English at grade C (grade 4) and maths at grade B (grade 5). A grade B in Additional Science or Physics is also required. Students studying BTEC Science should consider our Applied Science Level 3 qualification.


1st Year
Two written exams, each lasting 1 ½ hours.
There are a range of short and long answer questions and multiple choice questions

2nd Year
Three written exams, each lasting 2 hours

There are a range of short and long answer questions and multiple choice questions.

Practical endorsement
In addition to developing your theoretical skills, you will also undertake practical work and investigation skills. You will be supported in developing these skills and receive feedback on how the skills are developing. As the course progresses you will develop your competency in 5 key areas:
1. Follows written procedures
2. Applies investigative approaches and methods when using instruments and equipment
3. Safely uses a range of practical equipment and materials
4. Makes and records observations
5. Researches, references and reports
Students who demonstrate competence in all these areas will receive a Practical Endorsement in addition to their subject grade at the end of the 2nd year.

Future opportunities

A Level Physics (along with Maths) is essential if you wish to study Physics or Engineering at university. It is also highly regarded by universities for applicants to Medicine, Architecture, Maths, Computing and many other courses.

Physics graduates are highly employable. Their maths and IT skills, ability to work with data and their problem-solving skills make them highly sought after in fields such as technology, education, finance and commerce. Past students have gone on to university to study Maths, Theoretical Physics, Engineering and Astrophysics.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact York College directly.

Last updated date: 19 October 2016
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