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A Level
Exam Board: AQA
Subject Leader: Mr J Rae

This course is designed to allows students to study up to date Physics: modern ideas and applications, important trends, whilst developing practical and data-handling skills. The course increases students understanding of the part Mathematics plays in Physics and also develops their 'How Science Works' skills.

How is the course organised and assessed?

This course covers 9 topics over two years of study, in Year 12, students will study :
1. Measurements and their errors, including use of SI units and their prefixes, limitations of physical measurement, estimation of physical quantities
2. Particles and radiation, including constituents of the atom, particle interactions, collisions of electrons with atoms
3. Waves, including progressive waves, interference, diffraction
4. Mechanics and energy, including projectile motion, Newton’s laws of motion
5. Electricity, including current/voltage characteristics, circuits, electromotive force and internal resistance
And in year 13, they will cover:
6. Further mechanics and thermal physics, including periodic motion, thermal energy transfer, molecular kinetic theory model
7. Fields, including Newton’s law of gravitation, orbits of planets and satellites, magnetic flux density
8. 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

What's next?

Students with an A Level in physics can progress into many areas, including Electrical, Mechanical, and Civil Engineering, Health Physics, Environmental Physics. This A Level courses will give you an easy path towards higher learning in many Physics and Science based degrees.


View the learning journey for Physics at NLS