Physics

Physics is crucial to understanding the world around, inside, and beyond us.

The study of physics has produced concepts like relativity and string theory, and it leads to great inventions such as computers and lasers. Physics has led to technologies that have changed our lives, such as developing sustainable energy sources, medical imaging and treatments, international communication methods and space travel.

Throughout the course we aim to develop your scientific methodology, awareness of the advances in technology and recognition of the value of physics in society. Physicists are analytical and inventive thinkers – a qualification in physics makes you a very attractive candidate for further study and employment.

What will I study?

AS Level 

  • Electricity
  • Measurements and their errors
  • Mechanics and materials
  • Particles and radiation
  • Waves

A Level

  • Astrophysics
  • Fields and their consequences
  • Further mechanics and thermal physics
  • Nuclear physics

How will I be assessed?

At the end of Year 13 you will take three exams:

Paper 1

What is assessed?
  • Section 1-5
  • Section 6.1 (Periodic Motion)
How am I assessed?
  • Written exam worth 85 marks
  • 34% of your A Level
  • Duration: 2 hours
Content
  • Short and long answer questions (60 marks)
  • 30 multiple choice questions on content (25 marks)

Paper 2

What is assessed?
  • Section 6.2 (Thermal Physics)
  • Section 7
  • Section 8
  • Assumed knowledge from 1-6.1
How am I assessed?
  • Written exam worth 85 marks
  • 34% of your A Level
  • Duration: 2 hours
Content
  • Short and long answer questions (60 marks)
  • 30 multiple choice questions on content (25 marks)

Paper 3

What is assessed?
  • Section A (Compulsory section: practical skills and data analysis)
  • Section B (Your choice of sections 9, 10, 11, 12 or 13)
How am I assessed?
  • Written exam worth 80 marks
  • Worth 32% of your A Level
  • Duration: 2 hours
Content
  • Short and long answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis (45 marks)
  • Short and long answer questions on an optional topic (35 marks)

What else can I get involved in?

Visit to the Large Hadron Collider and Research Facilities at CERN Geneva

  • We provide you the opportunity to explore the research facilities at CERN Geneva, and visit the Large Hadron Collider
  • This will give you in-depth knowledge of particle accelerators and detectors
  • The trip is for two nights and three days, and will include a cultural visit to Geneva

Bolton Lecture in Astronomy at Leeds University

  • Attend evening lectures about astronomy at Leeds University
  • This is available for Year 12 and 13 students

Ogden Trust Partnership

  • As part of our partnership with the Ogden Trust, we have access to scholarships which will enable you to study Physics at university
  • Through the partnership we also offer work experience opportunities at Leeds University, Physicist of the Year awards and places at the Ogden Trust Physics Summer School at Leeds University

Particle Physics Masterclass at Manchester University

  • Enjoy a day of lectures and activities, looking into particle physics research development

Northern Lights Flight

  • We offer you the chance to take a flight to observe the Northern Lights with astronomers from Leeds Bradford Airport
  • We will fly North, looking at the Northern Lights and the Milky Way

Further Education and Careers in Physics

What can I study with a Physics qualification?

Courses you could study at university include:
  • Computer Science
  • Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nursing
  • Physics

What career could I have with a Physics qualification?

Careers which require a Physics qualification include:
  • Academic Researcher
  • Acoustic Consultant
  • Astronomer
  • Clinical Scientist
  • Geophysicist
  • Metallurgist
  • Meteorologist
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Radiation Protection Practitioner
  • Research Scientist
  • Sound Engineer
  • Technical Author

Thinking of studying Physics in September 2021?

Take a look at this bridging work in preparation for your course.

Click on the links below: