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PHYSICS – AS & A2 LEVEL at Astley Community High School

Course description

AS PHYSICS

Unit 1 Particles, Quantum Phenomena and Electricity

This module involves two contrasting topics in physics: particle physics and electricity. Through the study of these topics, students should gain an awareness of the on-going development of new ideas in physics and of the application of in depth knowledge of well established topics such as electricity. Particle physics introduces students to the fundamental properties and nature of matter, radiation and quantum phenomena. In contrast, the study of electricity in this module builds on and develops previous GCSE studies and provides opportunities for practical work and looks into important applications.

Unit 2 Mechanics, Materials and Waves

This AS module is about the principles and applications of mechanics, materials and waves. The first section introduces vectors and then develops knowledge and understanding of forces and energy from GCSE Additional Science. In the second section, materials are studied in terms of their bulk properties and tensile strength. The final section extends GCSE studies on waves by developing in-depth knowledge of the characteristics, properties and applications of waves, including refraction, diffraction, superposition and interference.

Unit 3 Investigative and Practical Skills in AS Physics

Candidates should carry out experimental and investigative activities in order to develop their practical skills. Experimental and investigative activities should be set in contexts appropriate to, and reflect the demand of, the AS content. These activities should allow candidates to use their knowledge and understanding of Physics in planning, carrying out, analysing and evaluating their work.

A2 PHYSICS

Unit 4 Fields and Further Mechanics

This is the first A2 module, building on the key ideas and knowledge covered in AS physics. The first section advances the study of momentum and introduces circular motion, oscillations and gravitation. Electric and magnetic fields are covered, together with basic electromagnetic induction. Electric fields lead into capacitors and how quickly they charge and discharge through a resistor. Magnetic fields lead into the generation and transmission of alternating current.

Unit 5 Nuclear Physics, Thermal Physics and an Optional Topic

This module consists of two sections. The first part of Section A, Nuclear and Thermal Physics looks at the characteristics of the nucleus, the properties of unstable nuclei and how energy is obtained from the nucleus. In the second part of Section A, the thermal properties of materials and the properties and nature of gases are studied in depth. Section B offers an opportunity to study one of the following optional topics to gain deeper understanding and awareness of a selected branch of physics;

Option A Astronomy and Cosmology

In this option, fundamental physical principles are applied to the study and interpretation of the Universe. Students will gain deeper insight into the behaviour of objects at great distances from Earth and discover the ways in which information from these objects can be gathered by optical and radio telescopes.

Option B Medical Physics

This option offers an opportunity for students with an interest in biological and medical topics to study some of the applications of physical principles and techniques in medicine.

Option C Applied Physics

The option offers opportunities for students to reinforce and extend the work of units 1, 2, 4 and 5 by considering their applications in areas of engineering and technology.

Option D Turning Points in Physics

This option is intended to enable key developments in Physics to be studied in depth so that students can appreciate, from a historical viewpoint, the significance of such developments, for example, the discovery of the electron and the wave and particle nature developments and the topics illustrate how unforeseen technologies develop from new discoveries.

Unit 6 Investigative and Practical Skills in A2 Physics

Candidates should carry out experimental and investigative activities in order to develop their practical skills. Experimental and investigative activities will be set in contexts appropriate to, and reflect the demand of, the A2 content. These activities should allow candidates to use their knowledge and understanding of Physics in planning, carrying out, analysing and evaluating their work.

Entry requirements

If you are studying Core/Additional Science you would be expected to achieve at least a grade B in each.

If you are studying the 3 separate Sciences you would be expected to achieve at least a B grade in Physics, and at least a C in the 2 other Sciences.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Astley Community High School directly.

Last updated date: 07 May 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years

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