Where is the course delivered?
- Bridgwater campus
Who is the course for?
If you want to understand more about the physical universe in which we all live, and of course extend your knowledge of physics from GCSE, this course is for you.
It is designed for those that have an enquiring mind and enjoy problem solving in the real world.
Like most A Levels, the emphasis is on understanding, rather than remembering.
What does the course involve?
In the first year we will study:
Foundations of Physics This module explores the basic ideas of Physics - units and vectors.
Forces and Motion This module studies how things move, how forces affect their movement, the different forms of energy and how materials behave depending on their properties.
Electrons, Waves and Photons This module looks at how current moves in circuits and what drives and resists it. It investigates wave behaviour and especially interference. The final section considers the mysterious effects of quantum physics.
Practical skills Throughout all modules you will develop your practical skills, and gain an understanding of how the theory works in practice. You will also work towards your Practical Endorsement Qualification.
In the second year we will study:
Newtonian World and Astrophysics This module starts by looking at the effects of temperature on solids, liquids and gases. It continues by investigating circular motion and simple harmonic motion (not always as simple as it sounds!), and concludes with exploration of the Physics behind the motion, behaviour and interaction of cosmological structures.
Particles and Medical Physics This module starts by looking at the causes and effects of electric and electromagnetic fields; it then applies these to electricity transmission and capacitors. Next we start to discover the hidden depths of atoms including quarks and neutrinos, before moving on to understanding the many medical investigative techniques.
Practical skills Throughout both second year modules you will gain high-level practical skills, and you will complete your evidence for the Practical Endorsement Qualification.
What makes this course special?
As a modern Physics course it deals with challenging concepts at the forefront of research. You will encounter mind-blowing concepts that are completely new to you such as quantum behaviour, particle diffraction and dark matter. At the end of each term mock examinations will give you a realistic idea of what grade you are likely to achieve. This is advantageous when making university applications.
Staff have decades of experience teaching students at A level, and even to higher levels, so understand how students learn and where misunderstanding is likely to occur. They are keen that students achieve the best possible outcome from studying Physics at the College, so they use very interactive and responsive styles of delivery and resources that are constantly being updated.
Each student has their own copy of the text book which is designed in conjunction with the examination board. As well as covering the course content they provide examples of problem solving and examination questions.
The College has a well-equipped and specially designed Physics laboratory. As an experimental science, understanding is best achieved through practical experience, and this college has a well-stocked range of apparatus to help in this task.
Students say that they particularly like the opportunity to discuss Physics at the cutting edge of research and they enjoy the challenging content. They find the use of IT that gives access to teaching and learning resources at home as well as in college very useful. They particularly enjoy some of the more unusual practical experiences as well as the singing of songs!
Minimum of five GCSEs A* to C or 9 to 5 is recommended for A Level study, including Maths and English.
To study A level Physics a minimum of 5 in Maths and B in Physics GCSE (or BB in Double Science) is required.
What are the assessment methods?
- Theoretical understanding and problem solving ability are assessed by terminal external written examination
- Practical skills are assessed throughout the two years by your teacher as well as in the final written examinations
- There will be plenty of practice for both written and practical assessment throughout the course
§ Theoretical understanding and problem solving ability are assessed by terminal external written examination.
How long is the course?
Two years. Lessons will be timetabled throughout the course of the working week.
What are the College attendance requirements?
You will receive six hours of tuition per week. Students are also expected to complete a significant amount of self-study.
Are there any additional costs for the course?
You will need a calculator to help with the numerical aspects of this course. A standard scientific calculator will suffice. We recommend Casio FX-83GT Plus Scientific Calculator, which is available for about £6.
What are the progression options?
- A Levels are still the most traditional route to university and we are delighted that each year a good number of students continue their studies through a Physics or Engineering degree course.
- Physics is a high currency A Level qualification. This course is prized by universities and industry alike for its ability to develop logical and lateral thinking numerate individuals who are adept at problem solving.
Most students studying the A Level have progressed to university courses, many to study Physics, Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, and many to Russell Group Universities including Cambridge. It is anticipated that increasing number of students will progress to higher apprenticeships.
OCR Physics specification A