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Physics (GCE) at Shelley College

Course description

Why study Physics?

Physics is a fascinating subject that is at the heart of society.

Without Physics, most if not all of the technological advances and devices we take for granted today (mobile phones, X-ray machines, TVs, satellites, computers, the internet, cars, power stations etc.) would not exist.

In Physics you will study topics that form the building blocks of science including mechanics, materials and electricity as well as topics at the cutting edge such as wave-particle duality, particle physics, astronomy and cosmology.

You will develop mathematical, analytical, and practical skills and be challenged to build up your knowledge and understanding to be able to solve complex problems.

Entry requirements

The aim of our entry criteria policy is to ensure students are taking courses they are well suited to and are able to make progress in. We seek to provide courses well matched to the needs of our students, helping them to follow their chosen progression pathway.

Due to changes in the curriculum set-up for GCSE, AS and A Level which are currently taking place, we have reviewed our entry criteria from 2018/19 onwards and will continue to review this annually until all curriculum changes are effective.

We have also decided that for the 2018/19 entry students, those with a 4 at English or Maths GCSE will be offered the opportunity to resit that subject in order to achieve a Level 5.

Our main College entry requirements are as follows;

Entry Requirements

A minimum of five 4-9 grades at GCSE, including English and Maths (at least to Level 4) from five different subject areas.

Purely vocational pathway require a minimum of four 4-9 grades at GCSE, including English and Maths (at least to Level 4) from four different subject areas.

A BTEC qualification may be counted as equivalent to two GCSE passes if students choose to follow a vocational pathway (i.e, OCR Cambridge National in Sport).


There will be three pathways which students can follow based on an average grade produced from their seven best GCSE results. The calculation being used for this van be seen overleaf.


Average Grade

Programme of study


Average grade of 7 or higher

3 or 4 A Levels


Average grade of 5 to 6.9

3 A Levels or a mixed A Level and Vocational pathway


Average grade of less than 5

Mixed (A Level and Vocational) or Vocational pathway


The method for calculating your average grade and additional subject requirements are within our full entry criteria document which can be found on the Sixth Form section of our website:



A Level:


Paper 1

              Measurement and their errors

              Particles and radiation


              Mechanics and materials


              Periodic motion


Written exam : 2 hours .  85 marks (34% of A level)

Paper 2

Thermal physics and further mechanics

Fields and their consequences

Nuclear physics


Written exam : 2 hours.  85 marks (34% of A level)

Paper 3

Practical skills and data analysis


Written exam : 2 hours .  80 marks (32% of A level)

45 marks of short and long answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis.

35 marks of short and long answer questions on optional topic.


Future opportunities

Physics is widely acknowledged to provide students with an impressive variety of skills that are transferrable across a surprisingly wide range of careers from meteorologist to investment banker.

Possible career routes include:


Environment and Climate

Energy sector



Civil Engineering

Law and Finance



Sports and Games industry

Music, TV and Film industry


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: 13 October 2017
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