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Physics AS & A Level at Newcastle-under-Lyme College

Course description

Physics has been called the most fundamental of all sciences, and its scope is immense, ranging from the infinitesimally small – for instance particles within atomic nuclei – to the massive and vast – for example galaxies in space – and everything in between. It is a science which develops theories and uses models to make predictions of real world behaviour.

Our aim is to offer an A Level course in Physics which is suitable for progression to Higher Education or to vocational work such as apprenticeships.

The course consists of a broad selection of fundamental Physics concepts which build on ideas learnt at GCSE.

You will learn through a varied programme of laboratory and practical work, lectures, discussions and team activities. The College has excellent facilities for Physics students, with all sessions taking place in a dedicated Physics laboratory. A wide range of equipment is available including computerised data logging. During the first two weeks of the course you will work through an induction period which will culminate in an Initial Assessment that will be used to assess your suitability for the remainder of the course.

Entry requirements

Usually you'll need five or more A*-C (9-4) grades at GCSE, including maths and English. A new grade scale is in operation for maths and English which is numerical. The equivalent to a B grade will be a 6 and the equivalent to a C grade will be 5 for entry requirement purposes.

In addition, to study Physics at this level it is essential that you have grade B (higher) in GCSE Additional Science (or Physics) and GCSE Maths at grade 6 (higher). BTEC Science cannot be used to gain entry onto the A Level Physics programme.


Assessment is comprised of three examinations at the end of two years of study. There is no coursework element. Examination sessions are held in June. You will also take internal assessments periodically that the Physics Department will use to monitor your progress and determine your current working grade. Data from these assessments will be analysed to identify students who require extra support.

Paper 1 (2 hour written exam)
• Measurements and their errors
• Particles and radiation
• Waves
• Mechanics and Materials
• Electricity
• Periodic Motion

Paper 2 (2 hour written exam)
• Thermal Physics
• Fields
• Nuclear Physics

Paper 3 (2 hour written exam)
• Practical Skills and data analysis
• Optional Topic

Financial information

Newcastle Maintenance Allowance (NMA): Anyone with a household income under £21,000 can receive £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances.

Future opportunities

A Level Physics is accepted as an entry qualification for higher education and is an excellent basis for careers in science, engineering, medicine, electronics, finance, computing and architecture. On a personal level, Physics allows you to view the world with increased fascination arising from your deeper understanding of how things work.

Further information

You will be expected to study independently and you will have access to the materials in the Learning Resources Centre as well as a comprehensive question bank and other support materials which are available on the College Intranet. You can expect to complete one homework per week and you will receive feedback on your performance within a week of the deadline date.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newcastle-under-Lyme College directly.

Last updated date: 17 November 2016
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