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Physics AS & A Level at Caterham High School

Course description

Physics involves the exploration of the limits of space, the beginning of time, and everything in between. It is the most fundamental of the sciences, where you use mathematical skills to interpret the world, and indeed the universe. This A Level follows on closely from GCSE physics, and builds on the knowledge gained by further exploring mechanics, and waves, and then taking this into the more abstract world of quantum physics, particle physics, fields and the many applications that have come from these, from astrophysics to electronic materials.


Course content

First year course content

  • Module 1 – Development of practical skills in physics. This involves ongoing practical tasks that are used to learn practical skills and lead to a practical endorsement award at the end of the 2-year course. 15% of the marks in the exams are based on these skills.
  • Module 2 – Foundations of physics: maths based skills such as manipulating equations, prefixes and vectors in two dimensions.
  • Module 3 – Forces and motion: constant motion and constant accelerated motion, projectiles, SUVAT equations, materials physics.
  • Module 4 – Electrons, waves and photons: Circuits, resistivity, power, Kirchoff’s laws, e.m.f and p.d. Wave characteristics, standing waves, interference effects, photoelectric effect and basic quantum physics.

Second year course content

  • Module 5 – Newtonian world and astrophysics: thermal physics, circular motion, oscillations, gravitational fields, astrophysics and cosmology.
  • Module 6 – Particles and medical physics: capacitors, electric fields, electromagnetism, nuclear and particle physics, medical physics.

Entry requirements

Course Entry Qualifications: 7 GCSE’s at grade A*–C including English at grade C/grade 4. GCSE grade B or above in core and additional science, or B’s in the triple sciences. In addition a grade B in GCSE maths is required (as 40% of the course content is mathematics based). BTEC is not suitable for entry onto this A Level.


The physics A Level no longer has any controlled assessment: the practical skills taught through the course are evaluated by the teacher in class and are tested in the exams sat.

The AS exam is stand-alone: it does not contribute to the final A Level grade, as this is determined solely by the second year exams.

Awarding Body = OCR

Future opportunities

Possible careers include jobs within the science or engineering fields, or areas where logical thinking is at a premium such as finance or banking. Previous students have gone on to study physics, medicine, dentistry, engineering and other sciences at degree level.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Caterham High School directly.

Last updated date: 03 January 2017
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