Why choose A Level Physics

Entry requirements

Students will be expected to have met St Paul’s entry requirements of 2 Grade 5’s and 4 Grade 4’s. A minimum of grade 4 in English and Maths is essential for all courses.

A-Level Physics has an additional entry requirement of Physics at a minimum of grade 6 in Physics or 6/6 in Double Science and a minimum of grade 5 in Maths. Where students do not meet grade criteria, individual cases will be discussed on results day.

Year 12

Working as a Physicist: students will be trained in planning, carrying out and recording practical investigations and gain insight to the ways in which physicists ensure they take the best measurements possible to be confident of the outcomes of experimental work.

Waves and the particle behaviour of light: the basic behaviours of oscillations and waves will be studied so that we understand things like how polaroid sunglasses work and why physicists think of light as having wave properties and behaving like a particle.

Mechanics: applying scientific ideas and mathematical skills to solve problems in physics and engineering contexts.

Materials: involves understanding the way in which different materials and structure react when they are subject to forces.

Electric circuits: students will build on their understanding of electric current, charge and potential difference and extend it to looking at resistivity and superconductors.

Year 13

Further mechanics

Thermodynamics: the ways in which materials respond when energy is transferred to them. Areas like specific heat capacity and the behaviour of ideal gases are introduced.

Electric, gravitational and magnetic fields: includes work on electronic devices like capacitors and a study of the calculations that are required to launch spacecraft and deliver them to other planets.

Nuclear and particle physics: covers important areas like the theories behind nuclear power stations and the relationship between E and mc2.

Astrophysics: we look at evidence in the radiation from stars and galaxies that tells us about their nature and the how the Universe seems to have formed, according to the Big Bang Theory.

Assessment Board: AQA

We follow the AQA A Physics (7408) course.


Assessment at A Level

The whole course is assessed at the end, with three 2hour papers: Assessment of practical work There is no coursework. Practical skills are assessed in the written papers. There will be a set of 12 core-practical activities that students will complete. The students’ performance in this will be reported separately, with an endorsement to those who pass.

Physics is a challenging and interesting subject which will helps students who take the subject at A-level to understand the world and universe around them. Example degree courses which generally favour Physics A-level include Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry, Computing, Electronics, Economics, Engineering, Environmental science, Forensic Science, Geology, Medicine, Medical Science, Meteorology, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Sports Science.

Careers related to Physics include Acoustics Consultant, Aerospace Engineer, Astronomer, Electronics Engineer, Nuclear Engineer, Meteorologist, Oil and Gas Operations Manager and Physicist.

For further information, please contact:

Mrs West (kwest@st-pauls.leicester.sch.uk) or

Mr Clarkson (sclarkson@st-pauls.leicester.sch.uk)