Accessibility links

Physics (IB Higher & Standard Level) at Bexley Grammar School

Course description

Physics is an intellectually demanding subject at IB and is a big step up from the low level demands of GCSE. We require students to have obtained at GCSE level an ‘AA’ grade overall in the Additional Science Award or ‘A’ in the Physics Separate Science Award. The main distinction between IB and GCSE, apart from the difficulty of the material in terms of the underlying concepts involved, is the emphasis which is placed on your own role in the learning process. As much as anything else, the IB course is trying to prepare you for University life, both academically and in terms of the learning process.

In the Sixth Form you are encouraged, indeed required, to take a large responsibility for your own learning for without this skill you will surely find success very difficult to achieve at university. You are not working just to keep the teacher happy; you are working for your own improvement and development as a student and in particular for your future.

Course content

IB Physics falls within group 4.

You will be externally assessed at the end of the course on the following theory topics:

Topic 1: Measurements & uncertainties 
Topic 2: Mechanics 
Topic 3: Thermal physics
Topic 4: Waves
Topic 5: Electric & Magnetism
Topic 6: Circular motion & gravitation
Topic 7: Atomic, nuclear and particle physics
Topic 8: Energy production
Topic 9: Wave phenomena
Topic 10: Fields
Topic 11: Electromagnetic Induction 
Topic 12: Quantum & Nuclear physics

In addition to these students take one option subjects.

The assessment of these topics will consist of three written papers

The group 4 project is an interdisciplinary activity in which all Diploma Programme science students must participate. The intention is that students from the different group 4 subjects analyse a common topic or problem. The exercise should be a collaborative experience where the emphasis is on the processes involved in scientific investigation rather than the products of such investigation.

Entry requirements

Students following the IB, who achieve a grade A in their GCSE physics, can opt to study Physics to Standard or Higher Level.

IB Physics students would benefit from completing IB Mathematics to at least a Standard Level.


Throughout the course students are internally assessed on practical tasks. It is worth 20% of the course. Students at standard level are required to spend 40 hours, and students at higher level are required to spend 60 hours, on practical activities. These times include 10 hours for the Group 4 project and 10 hours for the student’s individual internal assessment.

Both Standard and Higher level courses feature coursework and internal assessment which represents 24% of the final mark. Higher Level Physics students would benefit from completing IB Mathematics to a Higher Level.

Future opportunities

Studying physics opens up a range of opportunities in further education and in career paths in the following: engineering, medicine, law, banking, TV production, architect, computer programming. N.B. this list is by no means exhaustive and further information should be obtained from the School’s Careers Advisers.

The mathematical content, as well as the key communication and problem solving skills, developed during IB & degree level usually make it highly regarded by most university admissions officers and employers.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Bexley Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 04 October 2016
Provider logo

Key information