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Physics AQA A GCE Level 3 at Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys

Course description

Physics offers you a fascinating course, a vast range of extra-curricular activities, and the opportunity to be involved in real physics research.

The study of Physics takes you on a journey from understanding the particles at the very heart of matter to observing the most distant objects in the universe. Through understanding fundamental principles of waves, mechanics and electricity we can begin to tackle some of the big questions about the nature of matter, the possible solutions to major problems such as energy production and the challenges ahead such as spaceflight.

We hope each year that most students will go to CERN where they will have a variety of lecturers and visits to enrich and enthuse their experience within Physics and the other Sciences. For those particularly keen on Astronomy there are opportunities to take part in live observing at arranged times using the school telescope and during our public “Star Gazing” observing sessions during the Autumn and Winter. We also give students opportunities to be involved in research, and to present their plans and results to professionals at CERN as well as other symposiums, and times throughout the school year. This has made physics a very popular choice of subject in the school.

Practical work is an essential part of the course and is continually assessed in a manageable way, a practical endorsement is then issued on the exam certificate on the successful completion of practical work.

The A level consists of three exams. The first will assess all content from the units studied in Year 12, and the second exam will assess the units studied in Year 13. The third exam will assess practical skills, and the Astrophysics unit. Each exam is of a 2hr duration; further details can be obtained from the AQA website.

Particles, Quantum Phenomena · The nucleus including particles and their interactions, antiparticles and photons; hadrons and leptons; the standard model; · Quantum phenomena including photo-electricity, energy levels and photon emission, wave particle duality;


  • Electrical quantities, resistivity, circuits, potential dividers, EMF and internal resistance.


  • Scalars and vectors, motion along a straight line, projectile motion, Newton’s laws of motion, energy and power, momentum, and moments


  • Bulk properties of solids i.e. Hooke’s law and density, Young modulus


  • Longitudinal and transverse waves, progressive and stationary waves, refraction, diffraction and interference. Superposition and stationary waves

· Further Mechanics

  • Circular motion and simple harmonic motion, understanding simple harmonic systems, resonance and damping


  • Gravitational fields, electric fields, capacitors, magnetic fields, electromagnetic induction alternating current

Thermal Physics

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

Nuclear physics

  • This section builds on key ideas about particles and energy and covers probing the nucleus, radioactivity, nuclear instability and nuclear energy


  • Lenses and telescopes, non-optical telescopes, classification of stars, cosmology

Entry requirements

Grade 6 in GCSE Physics and a 6 in Maths guarantees a place on this course.  

Please note that applicants must also meet our overall entry requirements of scoring at least a total of 42 points (simply add up all your GCSE grades) and achieve a Grade 4 or higher in both English Language and Mathematics.

Future opportunities

You could take this course to complement other advanced level courses such as Chemistry and Biology or to prepare for the A2 part of an Advanced GCE in Physics, which could lead onto higher education in a science related subject or more general higher education courses. With further training, you could go into a job related to Physics such as Science Technician or Electronics Engineer. The course will also help you develop the skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for.

Further information

There will be a presentation on this course at our Sixth Form Open Evening in February.

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: 07 November 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years