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Physics AS/A Level ( AQA ) at Allerton High School

Course description

Physics is all around us. It is in the electric light you turn on in the morning: the car you hope to drive to work; your wristwatch, mobile phone, games console, and that 3DTV  you want for Christmas. It makes the stars shine every night and the sun shine every day, and it makes a rugby ball soar between two posts for that essential last minute drop kick. In studying Physics you will use theories, models and ideas to develop and modify scientific explanations, consider applications and implications of science and appreciate their associated benefits and risks. An AS in Physics is considered desirable by both employers and universities alike as it is a complex and demanding subject which embeds many of the skills and qualities essential in today's world.


Course content

Measurements and their Errors

A working knowledge of the specified fundamental units of measurement is vital.  Likewise, practical work in Physics needs to be underpinned by an awareness of the nature of measurement errors and their numerical treatment.  The ability to carry through reasonable estimations is a skills that is required throughout the course and beyond.

Particles and Radiation

This section introduces students to both the fundamental properties of matter, and to electromagnetic radiation and quantum phenomena.  Students will become aware of the way ideas develop and evolve and appreciate the importance of international collaboration in the development of new experiments and theories.


GCSE studies of wave phenomena are extended through a development of knowledge of the characteristics, properties and applications of both traveling and stationary waves.

Mechanics and Materials

Vectors and their treatment are introduced followed by the development of understanding of forces, energy and momentum.  This section continues with the study of materials considered in terms of their bulk properties and tensile strength.


This section builds on and develops earlier study of these phenomena from GCSE. It provides opportunities for the development of practical skills and lays the groundwork for later study of the many electrical applications that are important in society.

Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics

The earlier study of mechanics is further advanced through a consideration of circular motion and simple harmonic motion.  A further section allows the thermal properties of materials, the properties and nature of ideal gases and molecular kinetic theory to be studied in depth.

Fields and their consequences

The concept of a field is one of the great unifying ideas in Physics.  The ideas of gravitation, electrostatics and magnetic field theory are developed within the topic to emphasise this.

Nuclear Physics

This section bulilds on the work of Partciles and Radiation to link the properties of the nucleus to the production of nuclear power.  Students should become aware of the physics that underpins nuclear energy production and also the impact it can have on society.


Fundamental physical principles are applied to the study and interpretation of the Universe.  Students gain deeper insight into the behaviour of objects at great distance from the earth and discover ways in which the information from these objects can be gathered.








Entry requirements

You should have achieved a Minimum of 5 grade 9-4 or equivalent at GCSE including English and Maths along with grade 6 in GCSE Physics or if studying Combined Science you must have at least achieved 6/6 or at least grade 6 in the Physics examination.

You must also have Grade 7 or above in Maths and must study AS Maths alongside Physics.


All assessment is exam based. 3 x 2 hour exams at the end of the 2-year course.

Paper 1:  60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice based on:

Measurements and errors                            

Particles and radiation


Mechanics and Materials


Paper 2:  60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice based on:

Further Mechanics and thermal physics

Fields and their consequences              

Nuclear physics

and assumed knowledge from paper 1 topics

Paper 3: 45 marks of short and long answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis.

35 marks of short and long answer questions on the option.

Future opportunities

Physics can open pathways into many careers either through a university or modern apprenticeship route. Examples of subjects where Physics is desirable are:



Electrical Engineer

Civil Engineer


Computer Games Design

Nuclear Industry



and many more, too numerous to list here.

Further information

For further information please contact Mrs Wilding at Allerton High School on 0113 2034770.

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
  • Number of planned places: 25

Contact details

    • Contact name:
    • Mr B Harding
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 0113 2034770