A Level Physics

Introduction – why choose this subject?

Why do the stars shine every night and why does the sun shine every day? Why do things fall downwards if you let go of them? What is light, and indeed, what is everything made of? These are questions that philosophers and scientists have been asking throughout the ages, and the answers have changed with time…


If you choose A-level Physics, you will be embarking on an exciting journey of exploration, from both a theoretical and a practical point of view, with ample opportunities to expand and challenge your understanding of the world. From the smallest known particles, to the most massive structures in the universe, you will gradually build a solid understanding of how and why things happen. You will be answering many of the fundamental questions that philosophers and scientists have been asking for centuries, not just from a qualitative point of view, but by using mathematics. You will therefore be confident in algebraic manipulations and complex mathematical calculations. Problem solving is at the heart of Physics and therefore you will very often be placed in new situations and presented with new challenging questions.


In studying Physics you will use theories, models and ideas to develop and modify scientific explanations, consider applications and implications of science and appreciate their associated benefits and risks. An A Level in Physics is considered desirable by both employers and universities alike, as it is a complex and demanding subject which embeds many of the skills and qualities essential in today’s world. Careers in Physics include, but are not limited to, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Medicine, Radiology, Natural Sciences, Philosophy.

How is the course assessed?

1. Measurements and their errors

A working knowledge of the specified fundamental units of measurement is vital. Likewise, practical work in physics needs to be underpinned by an awareness of the nature of measurement errors and of their numerical treatment. The ability to carry through reasonable estimations is a skill that is required throughout the course and beyond.


2. Particles and radiation

This section introduces students to both the fundamental properties of matter, and to electromagnetic radiation and quantum phenomena. Students will become aware of the way ideas develop and evolve and appreciate the importance of international collaboration in the development of new experiments and theories.


3. Waves

GCSE studies of wave phenomena are extended through a development of knowledge of the characteristics, properties and applications of both travelling and stationary waves.


4. Mechanics and materials

Vectors and their treatment are introduced followed by the development of understanding of forces, energy and momentum. This section continues with the study of materials considered in terms of their bulk properties and tensile strength.


5. Electricity

This section builds on and develops earlier study of these phenomena from GCSE. It provides opportunities for the development of practical skills and lays the groundwork for later study of the many electrical applications that are important in society.


6. Further mechanics and thermal physics

The earlier study of mechanics is further advanced through a consideration of circular motion and simple harmonic motion. A further sections allow the thermal properties of materials, the properties and nature of ideal gases and molecular kinetic theory to be studied in depth


7. Fields and their consequences

The concept of a field is one of the great unifying ideas in physics. The ideas of gravitation, electrostatics and magnetic field theory are developed within the topic to emphasise this.


8. Nuclear physics

This section builds on the work of Particles and radiation to link the properties of the nucleus to the production of nuclear power. Students should become aware of the physics that underpins nuclear energy production and also of the impact it can have on society.


9. Astrophysics

Fundamental physical principles are applied to the study and interpretation of the Universe. Students gain deeper insight into the behaviour of objects at great distance from the Earth and discover ways in which the information from these objects can be gathered.


Paper 1

Sections 1-5 and 6.1 (periodic motion)

Written exam 2 hours

85 marks, 34% of A level

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choices


Paper 2

Sections 6.2 7 and 8

Written exam 2 hours

85 marks, 34% of A level

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choices


Paper 3

Part A: Practical skills and data analysis

Part B: section 9

Written exam 2 hours

80 marks, 32%of A level


CGP A-Level Physics Student Book ( The complete A-Level Course for AQA)

CGP A-Level Physics Exam Practice Workbook ( Includes Answers)

Mini white boards, pens and erasers

30cm Rulers, protractors

Scientific calculator

You will need 2 lever arch folders 

Homework and learning outside the classroom

  • Opportunities to work with final year university students in lessons
  • Drop-in session for academic support

Homework is set using a variety of resources:

  • Isaac Physics
  • Examination style questions
  • Seneca learning

There is an expectation that the students spend at least an equal amount of time in independent study and revision as they spend in lesson (a minimum of 9 hours a fortnight)

KS3 Science

KS4 Science

KS5 Science

Allerton High School
King Lane, Leeds
West Yorkshire LS17 7AG
ssat ssat Leading Edge Healthy Schools Ofsted