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Physics AS/A Level at Sheldon School

Course description

The A level will be taught over 2 years, with the content for the AS being covered in the first year and an opportunity to take the AS at the end of the year will be available for some students.

The course covers measurements and errors, particles and radiations, waves, mechanics and materials and electricity as AS content with thermal physics, fields and their consequences, nuclear physics and astrophysics as the additional content at A level, with the AS content being the less difficult aspect of each area. There is practical content throughout the course, with 12 practicals being compulsory and the skills and theory of these practicals will be part of the A level exams.

Course content

AS Physics

The measurements and errors section looks at the use of SI units, limitations of physical measurements and estimations.

AS particles and radiation covers: particles, electromagnetic radiation and quantum phenomenon including wave particle duality.

AS waves covers: Progressive and stationary waves, refraction, diffraction and interference.

AS mechanics and materials covers: Force, energy, momentum and projectiles.

AS electricity covers: current electricity, EMF, resistivity and potential dividers.

A Level Physics

All AS content is covered and in addition:

Thermal physics covers: Ideal gases and kinetic and molecular theory.

Fields and their consequences covers: Gravitational fields, electric fields, capacitors and magnetic fields.

Radioactivity covers: Rutherford scattering, types of radiation, nuclear instability, E=mc2

Entry requirements

Students will normally be expected to have achieved an A grade at GCSE Physics, or an A grade on the Additional Science Physics paper. Students with B grades will be considered on an individual basis.


Terminal exams at end of Year 12 for AS. End of Year 13 for A level. Throughout the course teachers have to assess whether the students pass or fail the practical aspect of the course and this will appear as a separate pass/fail on their certificate.

Future opportunities

A Physics qualification is very well regarded as a platform for numerous careers and study courses. Physics leads directly to careers in Science, Technology, Medicine and Engineering amongst many others.

A qualification in Physics also indicates competence in mathematics, practical and problem solving skills and an ability to evaluate evidence objectively.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 28 September 2016

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years