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Physics A Level at PETROC

Course description

Through the exciting developments in Particle Physics at CERN in Geneva and our advancing knowledge of the cosmos, Physics has been gaining in popularity both at A Level and as a degree. Physicists are highly valued in a broad range of careers, including the finance sector, all types of engineering, biophysicists in stem cell research and in sustainable energy programmes.

We are really proud of our superb physics facilities and resources. We have modern, state of the art labs which were modernised a few years ago. Students have excellent access to IT, all labs have fully interactive smartboards and trolleys of wireless laptops which allow us to access the Internet and college physics VLE website whenever we need to. The physics VLE website is extremely well resourced with lots of interactive revision aids, past exam papers and mark schemes and interactive software that you can access from college or home. 

Students and parents frequently compliment us on the quality of our labs, VLE and work booklets.

Course content

Both the AS and A2 Level parts of this study programme are made up of two theoretical units, building on and extending the physics knowledge gained from GCSE, and introducing new subject areas.

In the first year, we tackle the basic laws of the universe, understanding motion, forces, work and energy and the behaviour of materials. We explore electricity in greater depth and pass from wave theory to the more contradictory world of quantum mechanics.

In the second year, we delve further into Newton's laws and begin to grapple with the concepts of fields: electric and magnetic. We explore different types of motion: circular and simple harmonic. At a molecular level, we look at the concepts of pressure and temperature and then drill down further to the atom, the nucleus and even the most fundamental particles of all, including quarks. 

The physics of medicine is covered in some depth, building an understanding of how scanners such as an MRI work. We draw together the two year's learning to model the universe.

Entry requirements

To be accepted onto a two-year A Level programme, all entrants must hold at least a grade 5 in GCSE Maths and a grade 5 in GCSE English Language, as well as at least 3 other GCSEs at grade C or above. Certain subjects require a minimum of GCSE grade B; these are detailed in this prospectus and on the Petroc website.
Continuation onto Year 2 of the A2 programme will be dependent on achieving at least a grade D at AS in the subjects being continued to A2.

Grade BB in Double Science, or a grade B in Physics.


AS physics is assessed at the end of the first year's study.

The full A level in physics will be assessed at the end of the two years and there will be a separate score attached to the A level to show the practical skills in the subject.

While you are studying the course, you will be given regular written assessments and feedback on how you are doing and the areas that you need to improve upon.

Future opportunities

If you are considering going to university, physics is essential for any engineering course. More recently though, there has been an increased demand for biophysicists in Stem Cell research and other genetic modification programmes, and physicists are highly valued in Sustainable Energy research and development projects. There are also a wide variety of university courses in which physics is desirable, such as chemistry, economics and veterinary science.

Further information

Q. Do I need to study Maths?
A. GCSE Maths at grade B will equip you well for AS Physics. Most students who study the full A Level take AS Maths. If you aim to study Physics or Engineering at university then you need to do A Level Maths. If you are not taking Maths but are following a Physics course we provide additional Maths support.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact PETROC directly.

Last updated date: 17 February 2017

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