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Luton Sixth Form

Physics (A Level)

Why study Physics?

The best reason for studying Physics is because you are enthusiastic about the subject and have great maths skills. It is a demanding subject that really makes you think in lots of different ways. Students enjoy the combination of problem-solving, learning about and understanding the laws that govern the universe.

Entry Requirements

In addition to our general entry requirements, you must have:

  • GCSE English – grade 4 
  • GCSE Maths – grade 6
  • GCSE Science – two grade 6s (if taking Triple Science, must have a 6 in Physics)
  • Must have an overall GCSE average of 5.6

The Course

Physics is the fundamental science on which others are based. It tries to explain why the natural world behaves as it does.
On this course you will study topics such as: how forces affect materials; the nature of sound, light and radio waves; electricity and electromagnetism; the properties of matter; and particle physics. You will study theory and also carry out a good deal of practical work and learn how to evaluate and analyse the results of experiments.

Course Activities

As a Physics student you will carry out discussion work, mathematical work, practical work, and written work.
However, the best thing about Physics is the thinking involved. At all levels it provides an exciting level of intellectual stimulation.

Career and Progression Opportunities

Physics is a requirement for many university courses, particularly Engineering. Most Engineering courses will also require A Level Mathematics.
Physics as a subject, either at degree or A Level, is considered excellent training for the mind. Many physicists use their skills directly to study things like earthquakes, the climate, properties of materials and to make detailed measurements. They may do this working for a university or for a company. Many physicists find that they are in demand either from financial institutions or from IT companies. These companies value the physicist’s analytical skills and mathematical ability.

Course Structure and Assessment

This is a two-year course. All examinations are at the end of the second year

Module title and content Assessment
  • Electrons, protons and the neutron and particle families.
  • The interactions between matter and radiant energy in the form
    of photons.
  • Forces and displacement, velocity and acceleration.
  • Power and energy and using these concepts to solve problems.
  • Solids and their elastic behaviour.
  • Waves including refraction, diffraction and interference.
  • Electric fields, gravitational fields and magnetic fields.
  • Momentum and Impulse, circular motion and oscillations.
  • Capacitors.
  • Radioactive decay and the workings of nuclear power stations.
  • Gases and energy changes as things are heated and cooled.
  • Astrophysics including stars, telescopes and the Big Bang.
  • Two papers lasting two hours assess your theory knowledge.
  • Both papers will include some multiple choice questions.
  • The third paper exam will be a mixture of short and long answer questions including the practical skills content.
  • Practical skills including to how analyse and evaluate the results

Your practical skills will be assessed in lessons. This will result in a pass or fail in the practical endorsement.

Additional Information

Examination Board: AQA (A)
You will be required to enrol on Level 3 Mathematical Studies if you are not studying A level Mathematics
You will be required to attend a transition day in the summer term and complete work over the summer to hand in at enrolment. Without this, you may not be able to take your place on the course.


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