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A-Levels - A Level Physics at Wakefield College

Course description

Have you ever wondered why the air smells differently in a thunderstorm or when you throw a ball it flies in a curve? If you have an enquiring mind, this subject will give you a fascinating insight into how the physical world works and the part it plays in the functioning of our world and beyond.

Course content

What you will study

Year 1
Measurements and their errors. This will introduce and consolidate the use and manipulation of SI units to include
conversions and dimensional analysis.

Errors will be determined and evaluated in absolute, fractional and percentage terms as well as graphically.

Particles, Quantum Phenomena and Electricity. An introduction to the fundamental properties and nature of matter, radiation and quantum phenomena.

You will also study electricity and its Applications, building on principles acquired at GCSE.

Mechanics, Materials and Waves. This introduces vectors and develops knowledge and understanding of forces and energy from GCSE Additional Science.

Materials are studied in terms of their bulk properties and tensile strength and. You will also gain an in-depth knowledge of the characteristics, properties and applications of waves.

Year 2
Fields and their Consequences and Nuclear Physics. The section covers electric and magnetic fields, together with basic electromagnetic induction.

The nuclear section looks at the characteristics of the nucleus, the properties of unstable nuclei and how energy is obtained from the nucleus.

Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics. This advances the study of motion, introduces circular and oscillatory motion and gravitation. Electric fields and magnetic fields are also studied.

The thermal properties of materials and the nature of gases are studied in depth.

Optional topics:
Medical physics Engineering
Physics Turning points of physics

The optional unit will be delivered by a democratic system of electing the most popular choice.

How you will learn

You will be learning through investigation, experimentation, demonstrations and lectures. Students will discuss and apply their learning to several contexts and to the solution of worksheet problems. Assistance is provided during lectures/class and homework is set weekly. Subject to demand, there is the opportunity for a residential to Geneva to visit CERN! You could learn about fundamental research and see deep inside the world's largest particle physics laboratory. This is a truly inspiring and potentially life-changing trip for any aspiring scientist! Testing during and at the end of modules helps staff and students to monitor and support their progress. A full range of past examination papers is available and is used to help students prepare for end of course examinations in June.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at A* - C (or new grade 9-4),  including English Language at grade C (or new grade 4) and Maths at grade B (or new grade 6).


Core and Additional Science at grade  6/6 or old GCSE grades B/B, or separate sciences at grade 6/6/5 or B/B/C respectively, including grade B in Physics.


It is highly recommeded that you study A Level Maths at at the same time.


Throughout the course your level of attainment will be gauged by regular tests and homework assignments. AS exams (2 papers - 1.5 hours each) will be taken at the end of the first year of the course but do not contribute to your final A level grade.

All A-Level exams will take place at the end of the second year of the course. There are three written exams each lasting 2 hours. Overall, at least 40% of the marks in assessments for physics will require the use of mathematical skills.

Financial information

Tuition and certification are free if you are aged 16-18 years old. Related additional costs may include materials, equipment, visits, residentials etc which are payable by all students.
Any student entered/registered with an Awarding Body who has been given free entry and then withdraws or is withdrawn by a tutor will incur the certification fee associated with the course. Any resit examination will incur a cost.

Different fees apply to international students.

For more detailed information on financial support and fees for students aged 19+ please contact the Financial Support Team on 01924 789304.

Future opportunities

Further study

A Level Physics is an excellent qualification for anyone seeking entry to a university and is an essential requirement for physics and engineering courses.

Physics is regarded as a 'facilitating subject' which will increase your chances of progression to a Russell Group University.

Career opportunities

Many physicists work in research and development, engineering and information technology. Other career paths include medicine, astronomy, meteorology, geology, environmental science and teaching. For more advice on career opportunities, visit the Institute of Physics website.

Further information

If you require further information please contact: The Course Information Team on 01924 789111


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: 31 May 2019
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    • Wakefield City Campus
      (Postcode WF1 2DH)

      If you want to study in the heart of a bustling city centre, you’ll like our Wakefield Campus, situated in Margaret Street to the North West of the city centre. The campus has just finished a major refurbishment to provide a better and more attractive learning environment for all our students!

      At the Wakefield Campus you will find all the facilities you’d expect of a major college campus, such as a well-stocked Learning Centre, and a food court style refectory.

      Wakefield Campus is home to our Sixth Form, where students can choose from a wide range of AS/A Levels. Vocational courses at all levels can also be studied here – Business Studies, ICT, Hospitality and Catering, Travel and Tourism, Health and Social Care, Childcare, Animal Care... to name but a few.