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Physics A level at East Sussex College

Course description

• Working as a Physicist - practical techniques, SI and base units, standard form and measurement uncertainties • Mechanics - Newton’s Laws of Motion, SUVAT, momentum, energy conservation, moments and resolving vectors • Electric Circuits - series and parallel circuits, potential dividers, EMF and internal resistance, and resistivity • Materials - density, upthrust, viscosity, laminar and turbulent flow, Stokes law, Hooke’s law and Young Modulus • Waves and the Particle Nature of Light - wave superposition and interference, total internal reflection, refractive index, the De Broglie equation, the quantised nature of light, photon energy, threshold frequency, Einstein’s photoelectric equation • Further Mechanics - conservation of linear momentum in 2D, Circular motion, Centripetal force • Electric and Magnetic Fields - electric field strength, force on charged particles, uniform and radial electric fields, charging and discharging capacitors, energy stored and exponential decay; magnetic flux density, force on a current-carrying wire, motors and generators, flux linkage, Lenz’s and Faraday’s Laws • Nuclear and Particle Physics - ionising radiation, E=mc2, electron volts, thermionic emission, the Standard Model, quark interactions, particle accelerators.• Thermodynamics - Specific Heat Capacity, latent heat, internal energy, gas laws, absolute zero, the Kinetic Theory of Gases, black body radiators, Wein’s Law • Space – radiation intensity, measuring astronomical distances by parallax and standard candles,Stefan-Boltzmann Law, Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, life cycle of stars, age of the universe, the Big Bang and the fate of the universe• Nuclear Radiation - binding energy, activity rates, the decay constant, half-life, background radiation, nuclear fission and fusion. • Gravitational fields - Newton’s Law of universal gravitation, orbital motion and gravitational field strength• Oscillations – Simple Harmonic Motion, resonance and damping

Entry requirements

You will need to meet our standard entry requirements.

You will need at least GCSE Maths grade C/5 and Additional Science grade BB/6-6 or Physics and either Biology or Chemistry, grade B/6.


You will be assessed by your teacher at regular intervals during the two years using a combination of homework assignments, short tests and longer tests You will be formally assessed at the end of the second year Paper 1 (30%) includes: A mixture of short and long answer questions Paper 2 (30%) includes: A mixture of short and long answer questions Paper 3 (40%) includes: Structured questions (including practical techniques) Critical analysis of given experimental data, Extended writing question

Future opportunities

This course offers a pathway onto many university courses where you can study either a broad-based physics science course or one in which you specialise in a particular area of science. In addition, many students who study physics go on to study engineering or mathematics.

Further information

A level Physics is significantly more challenging than GCSE physics. In order to be successful in this course, all students will need to study hard throughout the year.

Many students find that this course combines well with A-level mathematics.

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: 30 January 2019
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Course code: 5883/011
  • Web url: