‘Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.’ Stephen Hawking
Physics is vital in understanding the world around us, inside us, and beyond us. Physics challenges the imagination with concepts like relativity and string theory, and it leads to great discoveries, like computers and lasers, producing technologies which change our lives. A Level Physics gives you the opportunity to explore the phenomena of the universe, with theories that explain what is observed, and practical experiments to test those ideas. You will learn about everything from kinematics to cosmology, and many recent developments in fascinating topics, such as particle physics. If you are interested in the limits of space, the beginning of time and everything in between, this is the subject for you. Physics is more than a subject – it trains your brain to think beyond boundaries.
A Level Physics is a mixture of highly conceptual thinking and very practical applications. You need to be able to think about abstract ideas such as fields, but be able to apply those ideas to how, for instance, electric motors work. Getting accurate results from experiments requires competence in using equipment. Calculations are an important part of A Level Physics and you need to be comfortable with basic algebra. At the same time descriptive work requires you to communicate clearly in writing. Much of what you learn in Physics will complement A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics.
Physics is a highly respected A Level. A good grade in A Level Physics demonstrates to an employer that you have strong analytical and mathematical skills that you can apply to many real-life situations. There are many possible career paths that it will create for you, like Science (many branches), Engineering, Medicine, Forensics, Electronics, Computing and IT, Finance and many more.
Note that our experienced University Services Adviser can advise on A Level courses and all aspects of university entrance including application support and references. These services are easy to access though our booking form.
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A Level Physics (Int) is open only to students based outside the UK. It builds directly on the work you will have done for IGCSE equivalent in the subject. Grade B or 6 in both Physics and Maths at IGCSE or the equivalent is required before starting on A Level Physics. Due to the advanced level of Mathematics required, and the overlap between the two subjects at A Level, we strongly recommend that you take A Level Maths alongside A Level Physics. We also require that all A Level students have IGCSE English Language at Grade C/4 or above.
This course prepares you for the Edexcel International A Level Physics syllabus XPH11 (for AS) and YPH11 (for the full A Level, AS + A2). Exams take place in January, June and October.
For the AS in Physics, you will take:
Paper 1: Mechanics and Materials (code WPH11/01) worth 40% of the AS grade and 20% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 30 minutes)
Paper 2: Waves and Electricity (code WPH12/01) worth 40% of the AS grade and 20% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 30 minutes)
Paper 3: Practical Skills in Physics I (code WPH13/01) worth 20% of the AS grade and 10% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 20 minutes)
For the A2 in Physics, you will take:
Paper 4: Further Mechanics, Fields and Particles (code WPH14/01) worth 40% of the A2 grade and 20% of the overall A level grade. (1 hour and 45 minutes)
Paper 5: Thermodynamics, Radiation, Oscillations and Cosmology (code WPH15/01) worth 40% of the A2 grade and 20% of the overall A level grade. (1 hour and 45 minutes)
Paper 6: Practical Skills in Physics II (code WPH16/01) worth 20% of the A2 grade and 10% of the overall A level grade. (1 hour and 20 minutes)
You will not be expected to carry out experiments during the exams. But you are expected to develop your experimental skills and a knowledge and understanding of practical techniques.
You can do this by using the links to videos and notes about the core practicals provided in your course. Our course materials have been developed with the home student in mind, ensuring that you understand how the practicals would be carried out in a laboratory environment.
The new AS will be examined for the first time in 2019. The new A2 will be examined for the first time in 2020.
I am a positive, enthusiastic person by nature, always seeking out the best in people. My most significant attribute as a teacher is building, positive, trusting relationships with my students.BSc, MSc, PGCE Subject: Physics View Profile
Science has fascinated me since Primary School, and I’m committed to transmitting my enthusiasm to others. I believe that learning is exciting and should be enjoyed!BSc, PhD Subject: Physics View Profile
I did my doctorate in the Materials Department at Oxford University, funded by an international research institute in France. I mix research and teaching and enjoy teaching at all levels.BSc, DPhil Subject: Physics View Profile
Science is awesome! I’ve been a fan of science in general, and biology in particular, my entire life. I look forward to communicating with my students, so, if you have any questions please contact me!BSc Subject: Biology, Physics and Science View Profile
My varied experiences help me to understand and empathise with students. I identify problems quickly and explain things clearly and simply and show how topics fit within the 'whole picture'.BA Subject: Maths & Physics View Profile