A-level Physics

Physics is for those who enjoy problem solving, those who want to explore the natural world on many levels (from the tiniest sub-atomic particles to the scale of the entire universe) and those who want to verify by experiment that mathematical models correspond to reality. It is an A-level that will enable you to go on to a huge variety of future courses and careers, as it is held in high regard by universities and employers. As well as being crucial to those wanting to continue to careers in Physical Science and Engineering, its academic rigour means it is useful for any numerate discipline (including Medicine) and indeed almost any route into higher education.

Please note that if you wish to study Physics at A-level you should also be taking Maths.

Course content L6

  • Mechanics
  • Waves
  • Optics
  • Materials
  • Electric circuits
  • Particle physics & quantum phenomena
  • Circular motion experimental skills

Course content U6

  • Simple harmonic motion
  • Gravitational fields
  • Electric fields, capacitors & electromagnetism
  • Nuclear physics
  • Thermodynamics,
  • Gas laws
  • Engineering physics
  • Experimental skills.

Examination arrangements

Three written papers at the end of two years, comprising multiple choice, structured answers, longer written answers, unstructured problems and comprehension questions:

  • Paper 1 focuses mainly on L6 content (plus circular motion)
  • Paper 2 mainly on U6 content (excluding Paper 3 content)
  • Paper 3 on engineering physics and practical skills

All papers are roughly equally weighted. There is also an internally assessed Practical Endorsement carried out in 12 key experiments over the two years of study.

Suggested preparation
CGP Books New Head Start to A-level Physics 2015
Further inspiration
Rees, Martin Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe
Cox, Brian Why does E=mc2?
Close, Frank The New Cosmic Onion
Gordon, J.E. Structures
Bryson, Bill A Short History of Nearly Everything
Feynman, Richard P. Six Easy Pieces
Feynman, Richard P. The Character of Physical Law