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Physics A Level at The Harvey Grammar School

Course description



Examining Board: AQA Subject Leader: Mr Lyng


It would be beneficial to be studying A Level Mathematics if opting for A Level Physics.


What is Physics?

Simply put, it’s the study of the forces, particles, interactions and types of energy in the Universe. This sounds rather grand! In fact, A Level Physics involves studying phenomena from the very smallest fundamental particles to the nature of stars.


What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

A Level Physics is suitable for students who:

  • have an interest in, and enjoy Physics

  • wish to pursue a career in the sciences, engineering, medicine, architecture etc.

  • enjoy solving logical problems and carrying out investigations


Course content

  • Paper 1: Measurments and their errors, Particles and Radiation, Waves, Mechanics, Materials and Electricity (34% full A level)

  • The nucleus including particles, antiparticles and photons; hadrons and leptons; the quark model

  • Quantum phenomena including photoelectricity, energy levels and photon emission, wave particle duality

  • Electricity including electrical quantities, resistivity, circuits and components, alternating current

  • Mechanics, including motion along a straight line, projectile motion, Newton’s laws, energy and power

  • Properties of materials, including density and the Young modulus

  • Waves, including longitudinal and transverse waves, progressive and stationary waves, refraction, diffraction and interference

  • Further mechanics, including momentum, circular motion and simple harmonic motion

    This unit is assessed by a 2 hr written paper comprising of 60 marks of short and long structured questions and 25 marks worth of multiple choice questions.


    Paper 2: Thermal Physics, Fields and their consequences and nuclear Physics (34% of full A level)

  • Probing the nucleus, radioactivity, nuclear instability and nuclear energy

  • Thermal properties of materials, ideal gases and the kinetic theory of gases

  • Fields, including gravitational fields, electric fields, capacitors, magnetic fields, electromagnetic induction

    This unit is assessed by a 2 hr written paper comprising of 60 marks of short and long structured questions and 25 marks of multiple choice questions. (Knowledge of material covered in Paper 1 will be assumed in Paper 2)




    Paper 3: Practical Skills and Data Analysis, Optional Units (32%)

  • Selection and use of various equipment

  • Processing data

  • Making observations and measurements

  • Analysing and evaluation of results

  • For the list of options please see specification for more details.

This unit is assessed in two sections over 2hr comprising 45 marks of short and long questions on practical skills and data analysis, and 35 marks of short and long structured questions on the optional topic.

Entry requirements


Entry Criteria: GCSE grade 6 in Physics or Combined Science (Trilogy). In addition, you must have scored a grade 7 in either of the Physics papers.

Plus: GCSE grade 5 in English (Language or Literature) and GCSE grade 5 in Mathematics

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: 22 January 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years