Physics is crucial to understanding the world around, inside, and beyond us. The study of physics has produced concepts like relativity and string theory, and it leads to great inventions such as computers and lasers. Physics has led to technologies that have changed our lives, such as developing sustainable energy sources, medical imaging and treatments, international communication methods and space travel.

Throughout the course we aim to develop your scientific methodology, awareness of the advances in technology and recognition of the value of physics in society. Physicists are analytical and inventive thinkers – a qualification in physics makes you a very attractive candidate for further study and employment.

Curriculum

  • AS Level
    > Electricity
    > Measurements and their errors
    > Mechanics and materials
    > Particles and radiation
    > Waves
  • A Level
    > Astrophysics
    > Fields and their consequences
    > Further mechanics and thermal physics
    > Nuclear physics

Assessment

 

At the end of Year 13 you will take three exams:

Paper 1
What is assessed? Sections 1 – 5 and 6.1 (periodic motion).
How am I assessed? Written exam worth 85 marks. It counts as 34% of your A Level.
Content: Short and long answer questions (60 marks) and 30 multiple choice questions on content (25 marks).
Duration: 2 hours.

Paper 2
What is assessed? Sections 6.2 (thermal physics), 7 and 8. Your assumed knowledge from 1 – 6.1 will also be assessed.
How am I assessed? Written exam worth 85 marks. It counts as 34% of your A Level.
Content: Short and long answer questions (60 marks) and 25 multiple choice questions on content (25 marks).
Duration: 2 hours.

Paper 3
What is assessed? Section A (compulsory section: practical skills and date analysis) and Section B (your choice of sections 9, 10, 11, 12 or 13).
How am I assessed? Written exam worth 80 marks. It counts as 32% of your A Level.
Content: Short and long answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis (45 marks) and short and long answer questions on optional topic (35 marks).
Duration: 2 hours.

Opportunities

Visit to the Large Hadron Collider and Research Facilities at CERN Geneva
We provide you the opportunity to explore the research facilities at CERN Geneva, and visit the Large Hadron Collider. This will give you in-depth knowledge of particle accelerators and detectors. The trip is for two nights and three days, and will include a cultural visit to Geneva.

Bolton Lecture in Astronomy at Leeds University
Attend evening lectures about astronomy at Leeds University. This is available for Year 12 and 13 students.

Ogden Trust Partnership
As part of our partnership with the Ogden Trust, we have access to scholarships which will enable you to study Physics at university. Through the partnership we also offer work experience opportunities at Leeds University, Physicist of the Year awards and places at the Ogden Trust Physics Summer School at Leeds University.

Particle Physics Masterclass at Manchester University
Enjoy a day of lectures and activities, looking into particle physics research development.

Northern Lights Flight
We offer you the chance to take a flight to observe the Northern Lights with astronomers from Leeds Bradford Airport. We will fly North, looking at the Northern Lights and the Milky Way.

Useful Links

Progression in Physics
www.physics.org/careers

Future Paths

Further Education
With a qualification in Physics, you could progress to university.
Potential courses include:
> Astrophysics
> Chemical Physics
> Geophysics
> Geology
> Computing/ICT
> Chemistry
> Environmental Science
> Medicine
> Engineering
> Mathematical & Theoretical Physics
> Mathematics
> Nuclear & Particle Physics

Careers
Potential careers you can go into with a Physics qualification include:
> Air Traffic Control 
> Games Design
> Instrumentation Design
> Medical Physics
> Metallurgy
> Radiography
> Science Journalism
> Software Development
> Teaching
> Weather Forecasting