Entry Requirements 

You will need to have achieved GCSE Physics or Combined Science Grade 7 or better plus GCSE Grade 7 in Maths. In addition, due to the content of the new GCSE specifications, we recommend that students have taken separate sciences at GCSE.

Course Title Advanced GCE in Physics

Examination Board AQA

Subject Code A Level Award 7408

Course Content 

1 Measurements and their errors 

While practical skills are continuously assessed throughout the course, the first topic of learning is the basics of measurements and how to conduct investigations.

2 Particles and radiation 

We start the new A Level content at the cutting edge of scientific research with Particle Physics. This introduces students to the fundamental properties and nature of matter, radiation and quantum phenomena, as well as explaining what neutrinos, quarks and Higgs bosons are.

3 Waves 

This section extends GCSE studies on waves and optics by developing in-depth knowledge of the characteristics, properties and applications of waves, including refraction, diffraction, superposition and interference.

4 Mechanics and materials 

This unit introduces vectors and develops knowledge and understanding of forces and energy. Materials are studied in terms of their bulk properties and tensile strength.

5 Electricity 

The study of electricity builds on previous GCSE studies, and leads students to a deeper understanding of current electrical technologies.

6 Further mechanics and thermal physics 

This section studies momentum and introduces circular and oscillatory motion. Also the thermal properties of materials and the properties and nature of gases are studied in depth.

7 Fields and their consequences 

This unit applies previous learning to gravitational, electric and magnetic fields, together with basic electromagnetic induction. Electric fields lead into capacitors and how quickly they charge and discharge through a resistor. Magnetic fields lead into the generation and transmission of alternating current.

8 Nuclear physics 

This section looks at the characteristics of the nucleus, the properties of unstable nuclei and how energy is obtained from the nucleus.

9 Astrophysics (Option topic) 

The final part of the course offers an opportunity to study an optional topic to gain deeper understanding and awareness of a selected branch of physics. The option module will probably be Astrophysics Physics, (focussing on stars and galaxies) but this may change based on the interests of the students.


Paper 1 (2 hours 85 marks 34% of A Level) 

Sections 1 to 5 and 6.1 (Periodic motion)


60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content

Paper 2 (2 hours 85 marks 34% of A Level) 

Sections 6.2 (Thermal Physics), 7 and 8


60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content

Paper 3 (2 hours 80 marks 32% of A Level) 

Section A Compulsory section: Practical skills and data analysis

Section B: Students enter for one of sections 9, 10, 11, 12 or 13


45 marks of short and long answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis

35 marks of short and long answer questions on optional topic

Future Progression

Entry requirements for a Physics degree are from A*A*A – ABC depending on the institution. Both Physics and Maths are a necessity.

A Physics degree is a great foundation for most careers – it shows that you are numerate, can use a computer, and have been taught to think through and to solve problems logically. Many graduates continue to research physics in some way, other graduates that use their degree in a non-degree specific field and many can be found in banking, scientific journalism, patent law, medical imaging etc. This is due to the fact that a Physics degree is a varied degree and can be applied to many careers due to the problem solving skills you develop. With further study, it is certainly possible to get into engineering as well.

To succeed in Physics 

You will:

  • Take a keen interest in Physics
  • Realise that effort is required to succeed
  • Also enjoy and be good at Maths
  • Have strong practical, analytical and thinking skills.