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Physics A Level at St John Fisher Catholic High School

Course description


Over the whole AS course students will study:
• Measurements and their errors
• Particles and radiation
• Waves
• Mechanics
• Materials
• Electricity

Through Particles and Radiation many new ideas will be introduced including quarks, antiparticles and quantum concepts such as the photoelectric effect and waveparticle duality.

We will also cover many of the fundamental aspects of Physics. Although many topics covered will be familiar from GCSE they are developed further for greater appreciation of the ideas. Concepts encountered will be Equations of Motion, Newton’s Laws, Work, Power, Momentum, Hooke’s Law, Longitudinal and Transverse waves, Refraction, Diffraction and Interference, Current, Voltage, Resistance, Resistivity, AC and oscilloscopes and much more besides.


During the A Level course students will study:
• Further mechanics
• Thermal Physics
• Fields
• Nuclear Physics
• An optional topic (usually Turning Points in Physics or Astrophysics)

Year 13 allows students to deepen their understanding of Physics and to establish links between the previously separate yet fundamental topics. Some of the concepts to be studied are Circular Motion, Simple Harmonic Motion, Gravitational, Electric and Magnetic Fields, Capacitance and Electromagnetic Induction, Radioactivity, Probing the Nucleus, Nuclear Instability, Nuclear Energy, Heat Capacity, Ideal Gases and Kinetic Theory.

Entry requirements

Ideally students will have achieved a Grade B in GCSE Separate Science Physics or an A in Additional Science (Coordinated Science). A Grade B in Maths is also required before admission to the course, preferably in the Higher Tier paper at GCSE.


The AS course is assessed by two exams, each worth 50% of the course, both assessing material from the whole of Year 12.

At the end of the two year course students will sit three exams which constitute the A Level assessment:

Paper 1 – primarily assessing AS subject material. (34% of the overall grade)

Paper 2 – primarily assessing new A Level material but with assumed knowledge of all the AS material. (Also worth 34% of the overall grade)

Each of these papers will consist of long and short answer questions as well as some multiple choice questions

Paper 3 – This final exam makes up the remaining 32% of the overall grade. It is made up of two sections, 18% based on practical experiments and data analysis and 14% based on the optional topic.

Future opportunities

An A Level in Physics is essential, highly desirable or very useful for many different careers/professions. Amongst these are Engineering, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Architecture, Management, Research, Geophysics and Geology

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St John Fisher Catholic High School directly.

Last updated date: 06 July 2015

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