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Physics IB Standard Level at Parkside Sixth

Course description

The predictive power of physics is the basis of all modern technology from cars, trains and planes to mobile communication, advanced medical imaging and nanotechnology. The wonder of the physical world extends from yet to be discovered particles smaller than an atomic nucleus to the beauty of astronomical images of star formation in far distant nebulae.


The IB Physics course offers the opportunity to develop a broad range of valuable skills. You will be applying logical reasoning and mathematical analysis to real world and experimental questions. You will develop skills in problem solving, collaborative group work and communication. You will explore a way of looking at the world that has had a spectacular impact on human life over the last two centuries.

Course content

You will study fields, energy and forces and how abstract models can generate testable predictions. You will study the laws of thermodynamics and the models that underpin our understanding of engines, generators and even the direction of time. We will apply a mathematical approach to describing waves and apply this to musical notes, earthquakes, speed guns and DVDs. We will explore electrical and magnetic phenomena in detail and see how electricity is generated and used. We will look at the structure of the atom, radioactivity, relativity and quantum theory. At Higher Level we will also look at Medical Physics and how application of Physics is leading to on-going development of medical diagnosis and treatment technology. We will study recent developments in sub atomic Particle Physics looking at quarks and at particle interactions.

Entry requirements

Five GCSEs or equivalent at grade C or above, including English and Maths.

IB students take three subjects at Higher level and three at Standard level.For Higher level subjects, you should have GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade B or above in those subjects or related ones. We recommend Higher level Maths only for those with a grade A or above in GCSE Maths. Further information about entry requirements can be found on p.73 of the prospectus or on the website (addlink to website).Students also have timetabled sessions for Theory of Knowledge and Creativity, Action & Service.

If you are applying for the International Baccalaureate, you need to choose six subjects, from a range of different subject areas (link to Additional Information, 6 Bac International Baccalaureate Diploma). You also need to choose one from each of the subject option blocks. The blocks can be found here .

A paper copy of the prospectus and subject options blocks can be obtained by phoning the Sixth Form Administrator on 01223 712600 .


Both SL and HL courses are assessed through three exam papers in May of Year 13 and by submission of the best work from a portfolio of investigative laboratory reports compiled through both years.

Future opportunities

The IB physics course is an excellent and essential preparation for Engineering and Physics university courses and very valuable contribution to preparation for Chemistry, and medical and mathematical university courses. Young people with skills in mathematical Sciences are much sought after by recruitment companies, even in times where jobs are harder to come by. If you are planning to study Mathematics at university, it is strongly recommended that you also take HL Physics.

The skills developed in following the IB Physics course will complement many other degree courses. For instance, many historians find that they benefit from sharpening their analytical skills through the study of Physics. Studying Physics may provide a unique and distinct perspective on the world - one that will stay with you through the rest of your life.


Further information

How will I study?

Many of the topics are introduced through exploratory investigative practical work based in our newly built teaching lab. Theoretical study will involve seminars, small group work and individual problem solving exercises. Much of the problem solving exercises and writing of lab reports will be done outside formal teaching time during independent study sessions in the excellently resourced sixth form library.


What extra-curricular activities will there be?

The Physics Club will provide the opportunity to develop skills in electronics, computing and robotics.

We will attend outside seminars with academic and industrial speakers and invite speakers into the Sixth Form.

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: 16 October 2017
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