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Physics (A Level) at Roundhay School All through education from 4 to 18

Course description

Unlike other sciences, physics has no limits – everything in your life, on this planet, other planets, to the far reaches of universe and beyond is in physics’ job description.


We’d be lost without physics. All the gadgets we take for granted: laptops, mobile phones, would be here. Nor would the electricity that powers so many things that we use and ‘couldn’t live without’ every day.


Physics is about how everything around you works.


The Physics course introduces a variety of ideas that provide a foundation to studying Physics at a higher level. These include particle and quantum physics, electrical circuits, projectile motion waves and the properties of materials. There are a lot of opportunities of practical investigation and compounding your application of mathematical skills to real life concepts and provides an opportunity to discover more abstract physics concepts. These include gravitational, electric and magnetic fields, re-interpreting Newton’s Laws of motion. Nuclear Physics has a larger role at A Level and delves into the greater detail of the fundamental forces involved in nuclear stability. An option topic is also available and will be decided annually based on each cohort of students: Medical Physics, Turning Points in Physics, Engineering Physics, Astrophysics or Electronics.


Course content

This qualification is linear.

Subject content

3.1 Measurements and their errors

  • Use of SI units and their prefixes
  • Limitation of physical measurements
  • Estimation of physical quantities

3.2. Particles and radiation

  • Particles
  • Electromagnetic radiation and quantum phenomena

3.3 Waves

  • Progressive and Stationary waves
  • Refraction, diffraction and interference

3.4 Mechanics and materials

  • Forces and motion
  • Momentum
  • Materials

3.5 Electricity

  • Current electricity
  • Electromotive force and internal resistance

3.6 Further mechanics and thermal physics

  • Periodic motion
  • Thermal physics

3.7 Fields and their consequences

  • Gravitational fields
  • Electric fields
  • Capacitance
  • Magnetic fields

3.8 Radioactivity

  • Radioactivity
  • Nuclear instability
  • Induced fission

3.9-3.13 Option Topics (only one option to be decided)

  • 3.9 Astrophysics
  • 3.10  Medical physics
  • 3.11 Engineering physics
  • 3.12 Turning points in physics

3.13 Electronics



Entry requirements

General Entry Requirements

Students must achieve a minimum of 5 subjects at GCSE grades 4 or above - please see the prospectus for further subject specific entry requirements


A-Level Physics: 3 papers

Paper 1
Written exam: 2 hours.
85 marks: 60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content
34% of A-level

What's assessed

3.1-3.5 plus period motion (3.6)

Paper 2
Written exam: 2 hours.
85 marks: 60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.
34% of A-level

What's assessed
Sections 3.6-3.8 and assumed knowledge from 3.1-3.5 (synoptic element)


Paper 3
Written exam: 2 hours.
80 marks: 45 marks of questions on practical experiments and data analysis; 35 marks: short and long answer questions on optional topic (3.9-3.13).
32% of A-level

What's assessed

Section A: Practical skills and data analysis. Section B: optional topic.


Future opportunities

Physics can open pathways to many careers either through a university or modern apprenticeship route.


Examples of subjects where Physics is desirable are: Physics; Teaching; Engineering (Civil, structural, mechanical, aeronautical etc); Astrophysics; Medicine (there are many physics related medical careers); Public protection; and many more, too numerous to list here.

Further information

To discuss this course, please contact our Head of Science Mr P Hurst

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Roundhay School All through education from 4 to 18 directly.

Last updated date: 25 September 2018
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