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Physics IB at Impington Village College

Course description

Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself, from the very smallest particles, quarks, to the vast distances between galaxies. Classical physics went a long way in deepening our understanding of the universe, however, there is still much that is unknown. Despite the exciting and extraordinary development of ideas throughout the history of physics, certain things have remained unchanged. Observations remain essential at the very core of physics, and this sometimes requires a leap of imagination to decide what to look for. Models are developed to try to understand the observations, and these themselves can become theories that attempt to explain the observations. The predictions of these theories or ideas must be tested by careful experimentation. Without these tests, a theory is useless.

The scientific processes carried out by the most eminent scientists in the past are the same ones followed by working physicists today and, crucially, are also accessible to students in schools. At the school level both theory and practical work are undertaken by all students.

Students study classical physics and also have the opportunity to look at areas that are developing today. Learning of theory is supported by practical work and students also have opportunities to do open ended tasks that enable them to test their understanding and explore their own ideas.

Course content

Higher Level

Students study the subject specific core, additional higher level material and two options.

Subject specific core includes the following topics: mechanics, thermal physics, oscillations and waves, electric currents, fields and forces, atomic and nuclear physics and energy, power and climate change.

Additional higher level includes the following topics: motion in fields, thermal physics, wave phenomena, electromagnetic induction, quantum physics and nuclear physics and digital technology.

Options. Two of the following will be studies: astrophysics, communications, electromagnetic waves, relativity, medical physics and particle physics.

Standard Level

Students study the subject specific core and two options. Subject specific core includes the following topics: mechanics, thermal physics, oscillations and waves, electric currents, fields and forces, atomic and nuclear physics and energy, power and climate change.

Options. Two of the following will be studied: sight and wave phenomena, quantum physics and nuclear physics, digital technology, relativity and particle physics, astrophysics, communications and electromagnetic waves.

The course content will be taught by a variety of methods and there will be a strong emphasis on practical work. IT skills are an integral part of the course.

Entry requirements

For the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB), a student should be a general all-round student, with at least 7 6-grades or higher at GCSE or level 2 equivalent and have a 6 grade or more in the subject s/he wishes to take at IB diploma higher level or as IB single-subject certificate.


Future opportunities

Climate Change
Oil and Gas exploration
Solar and Wind power technology
Aerospace industries
Materials technology
Automotive industries

Further information

For more information about choosing courses at Impington International Sixth Form please see Choosing your IB Programme or contact the sixth form

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: 27 June 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years

Contact details


  • More information
    • Impington International College is unusual, to say the least, and is possibly unique amongst state education providers. The chance for young people from all over the world to work and socialise together gives tremendous opportunities for broadening cultural horizons, increasing understanding and challenging preconceptions. Impington International College offers a wide range of courses and programmes: BTECs and, since 1991, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), followed recently by the International Baccalaureate Careers Programme (IBCP). At the heart of all of our provision is the IB mission statement, which aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. We actively encourage our students to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. We have a good balance between overseas and UK students who come here to take the IBDP & IBCP and those who follow the BTEC route and others who are attracted by Impington’ s superb reputation in the area of Performance. We want outstanding achievement for all our students no matter what path they choose to follow. Our tutorial system and small class sizes ensure lots of individual attention but we encourage students to be independent and think for themselves. Our alumni are welcomed everywhere from Cambridge or St Andrew’s Universities, to The Place and Italia Conti; from Maastricht or Japan to UCAL. If you are prepared to challenge yourself to the full and if the opportunity to learn in an international environment motivates you, Impington International College will be the right place to prepare you for the next stage of your life.