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Physics A Level at Bilborough College

Course description

What does it take to design a fairground ride? How come mobile phones got better so quickly? And why is the sky blue? If any of these questions make you think, “Hmm, I’d like to know that”, then A-Level Physics is your chance to find out. You’ll use your maths skills and scientific reasoning to explain how the universe works, from the smallest particles imaginable to the vastness of space. And you’ll be able to do that in our purpose-built laboratories with data projectors, stereo sound, data-logging equipment and simulation software packages. With around 20 Physics students in each class, your tutors give everyone the support and attention required by this demanding and exciting subject. 

Course content

We follow the AQA syllabus, specification A. In the autumn term of your first year (AS), we’ll study Newton’s laws of motion and force; kinetic and potential energy; turning forces and equilibrium; wave motion and wave effects; the physics of materials when stretched, and the refraction of light. You will undergo a revision programme before the Christmas break, preparing you for a mock exam in December / January. In the spring term you’ll prepare for, and take, the Practical Skills assessment (known as the EMPA). Then we’ll explore the nature and behaviour of light; electrons and their interaction with light; sub-atomic particles and the rules of the universe; electron flow and energy transfer; electric circuits, and why AC electricity is used and its measurement. There will be a revision programme starting in April to prepare you for exams in May / June.

In the second year (A2), onto which most students will proceed, we will look at oscillations; gravitational fields and orbits; capacitor; electrical, magnetic fields and induction; radioactivity and nuclear power; gases and thermal physics and an option - usually rotational mechanics and thermodynamics or astrophysics. There will be a revision programme starting before the Christmas break, preparing you for a mock examination in December / January. You will have your EMPA in the spring term. 

Entry requirements

To study Physics at Bilborough, you will need to have a B grade in GCSE Maths, in addition to B grades in Core and Applied GCSE Double Science (or a B grade in Physics GCSE if you are studying triple sciences).

Btec Science Level 2 is not sufficient, but please consider our BTEC Science Level 3 courses.

Future opportunities

A-Level Physics is both interesting and useful for helping you understand everyday phenomena and technology. It’s certainly a demanding course – we’ve designed it so you improve your thinking skills throughout – and this makes it highly regarded by universities and many employers. Nationally, there are too few students taking Physics A-level and progressing on to related degrees, so many universities and employers offer bursaries, sponsorship or enhanced salaries. Our students often go on to study Engineering, Physics, Mathematics and or Computing, Music Technologies and Medicine; we also know that those who choose to become lawyers, accountants or teachers find their Physics A-level a real boost to their applications.

We have strong links with many university departments, particularly the Physics and Engineering faculties at the University of Nottingham and Loughborough University. You will have chances, both in Year 12 and 13, to find out more about the university experience, through master classes and residential courses.

Further information

“I have loved the course here. The teachers are amazing and really supportive”.
- Student who went on to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Birmingham

“This course is really well run and enjoyable with lovely teaching staff”.
- Student who is applying for an apprenticeship with Rolls-Royce’s aero engines division

“After lessons it’s really worth looking over what you did and making sure you understand. There’s lots of homework – that’s good ... right?”
- Student who is now studying Biomedical Science at Nottingham Trent University

“They made us work hard but also got us to see how much we could achieve”.
- Chris, now a lecturer in Engineering at the University of Nottingham

“When I started Bilborough I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, yet now Physics is my life’s work I’m very happy I went there to be so inspired”.
- Ed, now taking a PhD in Physics at the University of Cambridge

Of his time studying Physics at Bilborough College: “Brilliant!"
- Stephen, now a GP in London

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 02 September 2016

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