Subject Information

The Year 12 Physics A-level course builds on the knowledge and skills gained from GCSE and extends it in preparation for further studies at university.  In Year 12 we look at the laws of the universe that govern the really small to the really big.  We study the fundamental particles that make up all the matter and how they interact and we also explore the strange world of quantum physics.  We will further study the topics of electricity, mechanics and waves that were looked at in GCSE.  The Year 13 modules cover key areas of physics including electric, magnetic and gravitational fields, nuclear physics and thermodynamics.  The optional topic covered is Astrophysics utilising the school’s extensive Astronomy equipment.


Year 12 AS topics:

01.   Measurements and their errors
02.    Particles and radiation
03.  Waves
04.  Mechanics and Energy
05.  Electricity

Year 13 A-Level topics:
06.  Further mechanics and thermal physics
07.  Fields
08.  Nuclear physics
09.  Optional Topic: Astrophysics
In Y12 there are two 1hr 30 min exams in June.   Paper 1 covers all AS topics and paper 2 focuses on practical skills and data analysis surrounding the AS content.


The AS papers include all types of questions that are in the A-Level, but at a lower level, helping students to progress towards the more challenging A-Level questions.

Please note that the AS-Level and A-Level are two separate qualifications. Students who wish to continue on the Physics A-Level will not be able to carry forward their AS-Level grades and must sit the full A-Level at the end of Y13.


In Y13 there are three, 2 hour exams in June.   Paper 1 will cover topics 1-5, paper 2 will cover topics 6-8 and paper 3 will cover the practical skills and data analysis surrounding all topics across the two years.

Throughout the A-Level, students will also complete 12 required practical investigations that will see them achieve a practical competency certificate, a qualification required by most science related degrees.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge”  Albert Einstein


Physics is one of the most useful subjects to study when looking for future career opportunities.  Physicists are not just employed in research laboratories around the world.  Their mathematical, modelling, computational and log skills are valued in a wide range of fields such as Engineering, Medical Research, Financial Sector and Banking, Sports Science, Aerospace, Teaching, Armed Forces, Law and Computer gaming.

Further Information

Please see:
Mr Gibson (Head of Physics)
Mr Swinney (Head of Science)
Mr Heron