Physics has no limits – everything in your life, on this planet, other planets, to the far reaches of universe and beyond is in physics’ job description. Physics is about how everything around you works.
Why study Physics?
Studying AS level Physics helps you to think logically and solve problems, gather evidence to prove your argument and analyse and communicate complex ideas.
A Level Physics is essential if you intend to read physical sciences or related subjects at university, and highly recommended (at least to AS) for medicine. However, it is also a good foundation for many non-scientific careers, such as Law and Accountancy, as the skills acquired (e.g. analysis, logic, numeracy, ICT, precision and practical techniques) are readily transferable to other disciplines.
What will I study?
You will already have come across some of the concepts of Physics at GCSE: forces, energy, waves, radioactivity, electricity and magnetism. At A Level you will start to see how these ideas work together, and begin to grasp the universal principles that apply to everything from the smallest atoms to the largest galaxies. The first year of the course focuses on developing your knowledge and understanding of Forces and Motion including vehicle safety and stretching materials; Electrons and Photons including the spectrum and quantum theory; Wave Properties and Experimental skills. In the Upper Sixth you will extend your knowledge so as to appreciate the ways in which different areas of Physics are applied. This includes Medical Physics, Particle Physics and Astrophysics.
How will I study it?
Lessons are a combination of both theory and experimental work. Physics has a strong practical element and the examinations at AS and A2 Level include practical assessment. Teachers provide support and encouragement throughout the course, so that you can achieve your full potential.
You are encouraged to read around the subject (a reading list is supplied) and Sixth Form Physicists are involved in a variety of extra-curricular science activities. These are designed to give a wider understanding of the subject and its place in current technological developments and include national competitions such as the UK Space Design Challenge. In the Summer Term of the Lower Sixth and in the Autumn Term of the Upper Sixth there is an extension programme which is open to all but is strongly recommended for those thinking of applying to take Physics or Engineering based courses at university.