Why study Physics?

Surveys consistently suggest that a Physics A Level is one of the most highly regarded qualifications you can take at school. If you want to study Science, Medicine, Engineering, Computer Science or Maths at a good university then A level Physics will certainly be useful and may be essential. All sorts of career opportunities open up having taken A Level Physics, and they do not necessarily relate to Science. And then of course, you should study Physics for the beauty and fun of it.

What will I learn?

The topics that will be studied will include areas as diverse as:

  • Mechanics: Learning just how the word moves around you
  • Cosmology & Particle Physics: Finding out just why the Universe is structured as it is
  • Relativity: What happens to objects close to the speed of light
  • Wave theory: How musical instruments work and why diamonds sparkle
  • Heat: Superconductivity through to cooking at home
  • Modelling: Decay curves, Simple harmonic Motion
  • Particle Theory: Studying the behaviour of matter in probabilistic and mechanical terms

How am I assessed?

  • Exam Board: OCR
  • Course: Physics B, Advancing Physics, H557

Physics is a linear, two year course with no exams sat at the end of Lower Sixth that count towards the final grade. The exams are all taken at the end of Upper Sixth.

There are three written papers plus a Practical Endorsement

Two written papers (both 2¼ hrs) examine course content and are worth 41% and 37 % of the total grade. The third written paper (1½ hr) examines practical skills and is worth the remaining 22%.

The Practical Endorsement is awarded by the School when the student has shown a level of proficiency in certain practical skills. It does not affect the overall grade.

Mark McKechnie, Head of Physics