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A-Levels - A Level Physics at Wakefield College

Course description

Have you ever wondered why the air smells differently in a thunderstorm or when you throw a ball it flies in a curve? If you have an enquiring mind, this subject will give you a fascinating insight into how the physical world works and the part it plays in the functioning of our world and beyond.

Course content

What you will study

Year 1

Measurements and their errors
This will introduce and consolidate the use and manipulation of SI units to include conversions and dimensional analysis. Errors will be determined and evaluated in absolute, fractional and percentage terms as well as graphically.

Particles, Quantum Phenomena and Electricity
An introduction to the fundamental properties and nature of matter, radiation and quantum phenomena.  You will also study electricity and its applications.

Mechanics, Materials and Waves
This introduces vectors and develops knowledge and understanding of forces and energy from GCSE Additional Science.  Materials are studied in terms of their bulk properties and tensile strength and you will gain an in-depth knowledge of the characteristics, properties and applications of waves.

Year 2

Fields and their Consequences and Nuclear Physics
The section covers electric and magnetic fields, together with basic electromagnetic induction. The first section looks at the characteristics of the nucleus, the properties of unstable nuclei and how energy is obtained from the nucleus. 

Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics + Option Topic
This advances the study of momentum, introduces circular and oscillatory motion and gravitation. The thermal properties of materials and the nature of gases are studied in depth.

Optional topics:
Medical physics
Engineering physics
Turning points of physics
The optional unit will be delivered by a democratic system of electing the most popular choice

How you will learn

You will be learning through investigation, experimentation, demonstrations and lectures. Students will discuss and apply their learning to several contexts and to the solution of worksheet problems. Assistance is provided during lectures/class and homework is set weekly. Subject to demand, there is the opportunity for a residential to Geneva to visit CERN! You could learn about fundamental research and see deep inside the world's largest particle physics laboratory. This is a truly inspiring and potentially life-changing trip for any aspiring scientist! Testing during and at the end of modules helps staff and students to monitor and support their progress. A full range of past examination papers is available and is used to help students prepare for end of course examinations in June.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at A* - C (or new grade 9-4),  including English Language at grade C (or new grade 4) and Maths at grade B (or new grade 6).


Core and Additional Science at grade  6/6 or old GCSE grades B/B, or separate sciences at grade 6/6/5 or B/B/C respectively, including grade B in Physics.


It is highly recommeded that you study A Level Maths at at the same time.


Throughout the course your level of attainment will be gauged by regular tests and homework assignments. AS exams (2 papers - 1.5 hours each) will be taken at the end of the first year of the course but do not contribute to your final A level grade.

All A-Level exams will take place at the end of the second year of the course. There are three written exams each lasting 2 hours. Overall, at least 40% of the marks in assessments for physics will require the use of mathematical skills.

Financial information

Tuition and certification are free if you are aged 16-18 years old. Related additional costs may include materials, equipment, visits, residentials etc which are payable by all students.
Any student entered/registered with an Awarding Body who has been given free entry and then withdraws or is withdrawn by a tutor will incur the certification fee associated with the course. Any resit examination will incur a cost.

Different fees apply to international students.

For more detailed information on financial support and fees for students aged 19+ please contact the Financial Support Team on 01924 789304.

Future opportunities

Further study

A Level Physics is an excellent qualification for anyone seeking entry to a university, and is an essential requirement for physics and engineering courses.

Physics  is regarded as a 'facilitating subject' which will increase your chances of progression to a Russell Group University.

Career opportunities

Many physicists work in research and development, engineering and information technology. Other career paths include medicine, astronomy, meteorology, geology, environmental science and teaching. For more advice on career opportunities, visit the Institute of Physics website.

Further information

If you require further information please contact: The Course Information Team on 01924 789111

Visit our Sixth Form Facebook page at

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: 23 May 2018
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    • Wakefield College Crofton Academy (Postcode WF4 1NF)


      In September 2013 we were proud to launch a new centre for post-16 learners. The new centre is a collaboration between Crofton Academy and Wakefield College and will offer post-16 learners in the Wakefield District an exciting new learning environment combining the strengths of both organisations.

      The new centre is housed in a brand new building within the grounds of Crofton Academy and staffed by a combination of Wakefield College and Crofton Academy staff.

      It offers a range of post-16 education opportunities, at various levels, open to all students from across the District.  It will provide a career-focused offer, giving young people the chance to continue with the next stage of their education locally, before going into employment or on to university.