Specification AQA (Physics A)

Why study Physics?

You might be fascinated by the universe or you might want to understand the ideas that power modern technology and engineering. If you enjoy solving problems and learning how to apply abstract ideas to a wide range of situations, physics has a lot to offer you. Physics A level is a subject that looks very impressive to Universities and employers and it will lead to a wider range of courses and careers. These could be from a Higher National program (HNC and HND) to degree level (BSc and MSc) in courses ranging from Physics, the Sciences and Medicine to Computing and Engineering. Employment could range from Radiography, Biotechnology, Automotive Engineering and the Navy to Computer Design and Alternative Energy.

And with new discoveries being made on a regular basis, doesn’t it sound appealing to be studying a subject that is constantly challenging our views of how our universe functions and our place within it?

What will I study?

Year 12:

  • Section 1: Measurements and their errors
  • Section 2: Particles and radiation
  • Section 3: Waves
  • Section 4: Mechanics and materials
  • Section 5: Electricity.

Year 13:

  • Section 6: Further mechanics and thermal physics
  • Section 7: Fields and their consequences
  • Section 8: Nuclear physics

And one optional topic from:

  • Astrophysics
  • Medical physics
  • Engineering physics
  • Turning points in physics
  • Electronics

How will I be assessed?

AS level physics is now classed as a stand-alone qualification and as such, will not contribute to your A level physics grade, should you decide to continue into year 13.

AS Qualification:

  • Paper 1 will assess topics 1-5 and will consist of 70 marks, made up of long and short answer questions. 50% of AS.
  • Paper 2 will consist of 20 marks of long and short answer questions on practical and data analysis, 20 marks of long and short answer questions on all year 12 topics and 30 marks multiple choice on all AS topics. 50% of AS.

A level qualification:

  • Paper 1 will consist of 85 marks from topics 1-6 and will include 60 marks on long and short answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions. 34% of A level.
  • Paper 2 will consist of 85 marks from topics 6-8 and will include 60 marks on long and short answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions. 34% of A level.
  • Paper 3 will consist of 80 marks with 45 marks based on practical skills and data analysis and 35 marks from the optional topic consisting of long and short answer questions.

Entry requirements

Above all, we need students who are enthusiastic about physics and are willing to work hard in and out of lesson, as the course is a challenging one. However, there are some essential requirements.

A BB grade or above in GCSE Science and Additional Science or B in GCSE Physics is required. A grade B or above in GCSE Mathematics is essential. We recommend taking A level mathematics.

Course expenses

Students will be required to purchase a book, costing £20, to support the course. There will be other suggested reading,  on an individual basis.


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