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Why Study A Level Physics (UK)?

‘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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What do I Need to Know to Enrol?

A Level Physics (UK) is open only to students based within the UK.

It builds directly on the work you will have done for IGCSE or GCSE 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.

The Syllabus and Exam

The A Level Physics (UK) course will prepare you for the Edexcel Advanced Level syllabus, 8PH0 (for the standalone AS qualification) or 9PH0 (for the full A Level). Exams take place in May and June.

For the standalone AS in Physics, you will take: Paper 1: Core Physics I (code 8PH0/01) worth 50% of your overall AS grade. 80 marks. (1 hour and 30 minutes) Paper 2: Core Physics II (code 8PH0/02) worth 50% of your overall AS grade. 80 marks. (1 hour and 30 minutes)

For the full A Level in Physics, you will take the following 3 papers in the same exam series: Paper 1: Advanced Physics I (code 9PH0/01) worth 30% of your overall A Level grade. 90 marks. (1 hour and 45 minutes) Paper 2: Advanced Physics II (code 9PH0/02) worth 30% of your overall A Level grade. 90 marks. (1 hour and 45 minutes) Paper 3: General and Practical Principles in Physics (code 9PH0/03) worth 40% of your overall A Level grade. 120 marks. (2 hours and 30 minutes). Questions in this paper may draw on any of the topics in the syllabus.

A Level  Physics (UK) now contains a separate Practical Endorsement, which is an assessment of your skills and competency in completing a minimum of 12 A Level core practicals. The result (either ‘pass’ or ‘fail’) of the Practical Endorsement is reported separately on your A Level certificate, in addition to your overall grade for theory.

You will need to arrange to take this component of the course at an examination centre which offers this option, and you will need to take the written exam at that same centre. We have created a list of centres that facilitate the Practical Endorsement.

Course Fee

The fee for Edexcel A Level Physics is £795 via instalments. There is a discount of 5% for payment in full reducing the fee to £755.

Read more about our fees and discounts.

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