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Physics AS/A2 at Christ The King College

Course description

The AQA course provides a strong foundation in the major areas of Physics and does not shy away from modern Physics with its challenging ideas. It shows the usefulness of the subject and illustrates the impact that discoveries in Physics have had on the way people live.
The course will require sound literacy skills but demands very strong numeracy, as physics is described in the language of numbers. It is a highly applied course that requires students to be able to work with care, precision and patience and appreciate how the processes being studied impact on modern day society and the huge potential Physics has for advancing science and technology. It also uses a wide range of equipment so it needs flexibility, adaptability and confidence to collect and interpret data and then express it graphically and evaluate it critically.
The course demands a high level of problem solving skills, the ability to link concepts and generates independence and creativity.


Course content

The AS Physics course is made up of two distinct units. The first unit begins with a journey into the heart of the nucleus of the atom, looking at the subatomic particles before spiralling out into electromagnetic radiation and quantum theory. It then moves into more traditional Physics of current electricity and is dominated by experimentation and data collection. The second unit is deeply based on Newtonian Physics with mechanics dominating the early parts of the unit as ideas on moments and motion are considered. It then moves into work and power before focusing on waves, their manipulation and use in communication.

Entry requirements

Literacy skills are obviously important but a confidence to handle numbers is absolutely vital. As such there is a general expectation that students should have GCSE English grade C and both GCSE Science and Maths grade B.


For AS Physics there are 2 examinations that test the skills and knowledge acquired in unit 1 and then unit 2. Both examinations are sat in the summer and consist of examinations lasting 1hr 30min and each contributes 50% towards the overall AS grade. Both papers test application of knowledge plus data interpretation, analysis and calculation through a range of short answer and long answer questions. There is no also coursework but practical skills and data analysis are assessed by way of examination through long answer questions which requires three tasks to be completed involving collecting observational data, collecting numerical data and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of practical work.
A Level is assessed by way of three papers.
Paper 1 - Periodic motion: Written exam: 2 hours - 60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple
choice questions, 85 marks, 34% of A-level.
Paper 2 - Thermal Physics plus assumed knowledge from previous section - 60 marks of short and long
answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions: Written exam: 2 hours, 85 marks, 34% of A-level.
Paper 3: Section A: Compulsory section: Practical skills and data analysis – 45 marks long and short questions
Section B: Students enter for one of sections 9, 10, 11, 12 or 13 – 35 marks long and short questions: Written exam: 2
hours, 80 marks, 32% of A-level

Future opportunities

Physics provides a huge range of career opportunities and a list of just a few is given below:-
Communications, space exploration, aviation, motor manufacture, geophysics, medical physics, nuclear research, new energy development, marine engineering, power supply engineering, structural engineering, chemical engineering, material sciences, health and safety, accountancy, mathematics, education and philosophy.

Further information

Opportunities to visit university laboratories and meet professional physicists will be available in order to show students what a career in Physics is really like.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Christ The King College directly.

Last updated date: 22 May 2015
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Key information

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