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Physics A Level *FEES PAYABLE* at Ashbourne Independent School

Course description

As with all other subjects, we work in small groups or tutorials and allow for more classroom contact time than found at most schools and colleges within the UK. This means that you can never go to sleep and all students are drawn into the process of education. 
Knowledge is power and we aim first to establish the understanding necessary for any hardworking student to achieve an A grade. As teachers, we never lose sight of the necessity to entertain our captive audience and always endeavour to keep our lessons lively and stimulating. The use of practical experiments, demonstrations and humour is really important. 
We have high expectations for all our students and set much more homework than you will find in other educational institutions. This work is the essence of education and communication but is supported by regular testing and mock examinations based on past examination paper questions. 
You do not need be a brilliant mathematician to succeed in this subject. We provide textbooks, self-contained notes and syllabus outlines – everything you need to excel. We rely on no previous knowledge of physics and build up students’ understanding in a step-by-step way. 
Best of all, we have fun!

In medicine you may understand things like: ultrasonic analysis, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and osmosis, among many others. Why we sweat can be understood through heat transfer and vapour pressure.
 In engineering the applications are infinite and include such topics as: materials, vibrations, stresses and elasticity, transfer of electrical energy and energy generally. 
Carbon dating, which is related to nuclear physics and radioactivity, is applied in archaeology, geology and geography.
 In music you might apply principles of acoustics, harmonic analysis and digital technology.
 In biology and chemistry you use the concept of conservation of energy and potential energy to explain why reactions proceed, how energy is stored and transformed from one form to another, and the origin of atomic spectra.
 If you are interested in environmental issues a good understanding of physics will help you understand the greenhouse effect and also the limitations of physics in understanding phenomena as complex as weather systems and as ‘simple’ as the turbulence produced when air flows over the wings of an aircraft.

Course content

There are nine topics in this course. AS students study the first five topics and A level students study all topics including the final option.


1. Measurement and error
2. Particles and radiation
3. Waves
4. Mechanics and materials
5. Electricity
6. Mechanics and thermal physics
7. Electric, magnetic and gravitational fields
8. Nuclear physics
9. Option – Engineering physics


This is a linear course which means exams take place at the end of the final year of study.


AS level examinations: two written papers of 1hr 30, each constituting 50% of overall mark. These papers are a mixture of short and long answer questions based on topics 1–5. Paper 2 includes multiple choice questions and a section related to practical research carried out by the students.

A level examinations: three written papers of 2 hrs. Papers 1 and 2 comprise short and long answer and multiple choice questions based on topics 1–8. Paper 1 covers topics 1–5 and 6.1; paper 2 covers topics 6.2, 7 and 8. Both papers are worth 85 marks and constitute 34% of the overall mark. Paper 3 examines the practical research carried out by the students and understanding of the optional topic; it is worth 80 marks and constitutes the final 32% of the overall mark.

Entry requirements

Ashbourne aims to attract students with good character and solid academic achievements. The college takes great care with admissions and interviews each applicant. The interview is friendly, informal and without obligation.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ashbourne Independent School directly.

Last updated date: 10 November 2016

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