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Physics AQA AS and A Level at Harris Girls' Academy East Dulwich

Course description

A Level

In a change from previous years, to complete the full A Level in Physics students must complete all eight core sections and be assessed on all eight in addition to one optional section at the end of two years of study – i.e. in Year 13. 

The A Level is no longer coupled with the AS.


AS Level

Students choosing to only study Physics for one year to AS Level will complete the first five sections of the subject content. They will then be assessed on their learning with two papers, at the end of Year 12.  All five sections will be assessed on both papers, a significant change from previous courses.

Course content

Core Content:

  • Section 1: Measurements and their errors
  • Section 2: Particles and radiation
  • Section 3: Waves
  • Section 4: Mechanics and materials
  • Section 5: Electricity
  • Section 6: Further mechanics and thermal physics (A Level only)
  • Section 7: Fields and their consequences (A Level only)
  • Section 8: Nuclear physics (A Level only)


Optional Content:

  • Section 9: Astrophysics (A Level only)
  • Section 10: Medical physics (A Level only)
  • Section 11: Engineering physics (A Level only)
  • Section 12: Turning points in Physics (A Level only)
  • Section 13: Electronics (A Level only)

Entry requirements

  • Students need to have studied a minimum of two GCSEs in science, reaching grade B at least in both. 
  • They should attain an overall grade B in their Year 11 GCSE, including grade B on the Physics exam paper (thus they must have done the higher tier paper). 
  • Students also need grade B in English and grade B in Maths.  Students must also study A Level Maths. 


AS Level:

  • Students complete two written papers, both lasting 1 hour 30 minutes.  
  • They are entitled ‘Paper1’ and ‘Paper 2’ and are equally weighted.
  • ‘Paper 1’ assesses all five AS sections.
  • ‘Paper 2’ also assesses all five AS sections in addition to the practical skills and data analysis.

A Level Physics:

  • There are three written papers to assess A Level Physics. 
  • ‘Paper 1’ and ‘Paper 2’ are each 2 hours, and each account for 34% of the A Level.
  •  The former assess sections1 - 5.  
  • The latter assess content in sections 6 - 8. 
  • The third exam, ‘Paper 3’ also lasts for 2 hours.  It accounts for the remaining 32% of the A Level assessing practical knowledge and understanding, data analysis and optional topic one of section 9,10,11,12or 13. 

There is no coursework of controlled assessment.  

Students will do at least 12 practical activities across the two-year A Level.

Practical knowledge and understanding will be assessed in the written paper accounting for 15% of the total A Level marks.  

A separate endorsement of practical work will be assessed by teachers throughout the course, leading to a separate certificate called ‘Practical Endorsement in Physics’ – this is simply pass/fail depending on skills shown throughout the course.

It will be reported on their certificate along with their A Level grade.

Future opportunities

A Level Physics is an excellent preparation for further study in Higher Education and physicists are in demand for many types of careers.  

Physicists have gone on to work in Medicine, Computing, Telecommunications, Electronics, Engineering, Research and any disciplines requiring a high degree of numeracy and/or problem solving e.g. Accountancy.  

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Harris Girls' Academy East Dulwich directly.

Last updated date: 20 December 2016
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