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Level: Advanced (Level 3)Awarding Body: AQA

Why study Physics?

Anyone who is interested in the way the world is explained at the most fundamental level is going to enjoy Physics. The word Physics comes from the Greek word Physika which refers to the very nature of things. You will learn about the tiniest particles that make up the atom, the forces that govern them and the interaction between light and matter. Students build circuits, carry out experiments and make careful measurements.

A Level Physics is a foundation for all careers that require problem-solvers with a strong grasp of maths. Physics is at the heart of technology development, space research, materials science and engineering.

What can it lead to?

Physics is highly regarded by universities and is an important subject for a range of careers. Some of our students go on to study Physics at university. This might lead to a career in research and development, either at a university or in industry.

Other students who do Physics here go on to apply their knowledge in other areas at university. A Level Physics can lead to Applied Physics, Astrophysics, Geophysics, Materials Technology, Forensic Science, Engineering, Meteorology and Medical Physics.

Physics also goes well with careers in medicine, mathematics, computing, finance, accountancy and other numerate vocations.

How is the course organised?

At St Charles, students follow the AQA A-Level Physics specification.

This qualification is linear, meaning the final grade for the A-Level will be entirely based on three exams sat at the end of the two-year course.

Course content:

  • Measurements and experimental work, Particles and radiation, Waves, Mechanics and materials, Electricity,
  • Further mechanics and thermal physics, Fields and their consequences, Nuclear physics and Turning points in physics.

How is the course assessed?

Students in Physics will be regularly assessed. Homework is set and marked every week, and end-of-topic tests will be taken every 2 weeks. Marks are recorded on the electronic markbook for students, parents/carers and staff to see.

When work is returned there will be written comments about how to improve. Students will also be given time to do corrections and reflect on their own areas for improvement.

Students aiming for the top grade will be expected to read extra articles and books and to report back on what they have read. There are also visits to universities to hear lectures on topics like superconductors, cosmology and engineering.

Rest assured – if you are aiming high you will be challenged and expected to achieve at the highest level.

What do I need to qualify for this course?

For A Level Physics you will need an average GCSE score of 5.6 or more. Also:

  • Grades 6 in Combined Science or at least two 6’s in triple science (one 6 must be in Physics)
  • 6 in Maths
  • 5 in English

Other factors to consider:

  • You shouldn’t choose Physics if you don’t like maths – every lesson will involve calculations!
  • Do not think you are getting away from writing – all exams require coherent written answers and extended prose
  • You should choose Physics if you enjoyed the Physics topics at school and you are prepared to work hard at a challenging subject.

Who are the teachers?

Physics is taught by expert graduate teachers who have a passion for the subject and want to help you get the best grade possible. For more information please contact enquiries@stcharles.ac.uk.       

What do students say about the course?

"I really enjoyed Physics at St Charles because it was able to explain all the things that happen around us very well. Also with teachers’ help I was able to fully understand the theory and laws. I also found the Thursday workshops very useful as we did plenty of experiments to broaden our knowledge."

"Physics is a challenging course but the teachers were always willing and available to help us with anything we had difficulties with."

"You always organised the lessons by doing different activities with us, which not only let me have a better understanding of every topic but also kept the lessons more interesting. Thank you for everything. I truly appreciate it."

Extra Curricular

Further information about science-related careers can be found by talking to the careers service at St Charles. There will be subject specialists and careers advisors available to talk to throughout enrolment.