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GCE Physics

Awarding Body : AQA

Overview of Course

Studying physics can give you a fundamental understanding of how the world works, from the smallest subatomic particles to the largest galaxies. It is an active and exciting subject that continues to affect the world around us. Taking physics at A-Level puts you on a path to becoming a creator of the scientific advances and technologies of tomorrow.

Students can study AQA Advanced Level GCE in Physics (Entry Code: 7408), a two-year A-Level course, or may opt for the one-year AS Level course (7407).

This course has been chosen because it covers the most important aspects of current Physics, while giving you an insight into what the future of the subject holds, as well as preparing you to be a participant in this as an engineer or scientist.

The course will involve lots of experimental work to help you get a greater understanding of the topic, and to prepare you for your future in science and engineering. The A-Level course requires no investigative skills assessments or controlled practical work, but your understanding of conducting experiments and using data is assessed the exams. In addition to this, your practical work will be assessed by teachers throughout your studies, and students who demonstrate a good level of experimental skill will receive a separate ‘endorsement’ on their certificate.

Content

First Year of A-Level and AS Level

  • Measurements and Their Errors: including use of SI units and their prefixes, limitations of physical measurement, estimation of physical quantities
  • Particles and Radiation: including constituents of the atom, particle interactions, collisions of electrons with atoms
  • Waves: including progressive waves, interference, diffraction
  • Mechanics and Energy: including projectile motion, Newton’s laws of motion
  • Electricity: including current and voltage characteristics, circuits, electromotive force and internal resistance

Second Year of A-Level

  • Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics: including periodic motion, thermal energy transfer, molecular kinetic theory model
  • Fields: including Newton’s law of gravitation, orbits of planets and satellites, magnetic flux density
  • Nuclear Physics: including evidence for the nucleus, radioactive decay, nuclear instability

 

Plus one option from:

  • Astrophysics: including classification of stars by luminosity, Doppler effect, detection of exoplanets
  • Medical Physics: including physics of vision, ECG machines, x-ray imaging
  • Engineering Physics: including rotational dynamics, thermodynamics and engines
  • Turning Points in Physics: including discovery of the electron, Einstein’s theory of special relativity
    Electronics: including discrete semiconductor devices, data communication systems

Assessment

The subject content will be assessed in three exams at the end of the course. The first exam focuses on topics from the first year of study, while the second focuses more on the second year of study. The third exam assesses the practical skills that you have gained by taking the course, and also assesses what you have learned in the option topic.

The course will involve lots of experimental work to help you get a greater understanding of the topic, and to prepare you for your future in Science and Engineering. The A-Level course requires no investigative skills assessments or controlled practical work, but your understanding of conducting experiments and using data is assessed the exams. In addition to this, your practical work will be assessed by teachers throughout your studies, and students who demonstrate a good level of experimental skill will receive a separate ‘endorsement’ on their certificate.

Career Links

Physics students are highly sought after, and have many options once they leave WMG Academy. Studying Physics develops an understanding of the world, and also builds proficiency in applied mathematics, problem solving and investigative skills.

On completion, many A Level Physics students choose to study Physics at university or to pursue an Engineering qualification. As the skills developed in Physics are highly transferable, Physics students also find employment in the financial sector, computing, media and communications, and healthcare.

A grade B in GCSE additional science or GCSE physics is the minimum grade criterion, however an A grade is heavily recommended to cope with the demands of the course.