Physics A Level

Qualification: GCE A Level in Physics
Exam Board & Specification Code: OCR; H556; Specification
Course Entry Requirements: C/4 in Maths GCSE and 2 B/6 grades in 2 Science GCSEs inc. Chemistry or Additional Science (not Applied Science).
Please make sure that you have understood the overall entry requirements to study at BHASVIC. These are available here and outline the GCSE grades you need to take up one of the Programmes of Study at the college.
Length and size of qualification: 2 year single course
Timetable hours: 4.5 hours per week
Assessment method: 3 exams of varying length plus a practical assessment
BHASVIC Department: Chemistry and Physics
Head of Department: Sandra Clinton

What will I study?

You will study forces, motion, electrons, waves and photons in the first year. Throughout this subject and especially in the second year you will apply your knowledge to astrophysics, motion and electromagnetism. You will learn how to use physical quantities and units, scalars and vectors. Practical work is an important aspect, and students generally do one a week (no separate coursework component); students keep a lab book to evidence their skills. Goes well with Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Computing in particular.

Is this course right for me?

Successful physics students enjoy maths and particularly algebra. They are curious about how things work and thrive on the challenges of problem solving. They work effectively both on their own and in groups. They work carefully and with precision in both their practical and written work. Students will succeed most if they are self-motivated independent learners. Flipped learning is used for all topics, lessons are interactive and build upon independent study. There are lots of opportunities to get help and support from the department. Mathematical fluency is vital for success at A level. We run an ‘in-house’ Maths for Physics course for students who do not do A level Maths but this does not lead to a qualification.

Where next?

A Physics A Level is a great starting point for a career in scientific research, as well as in a range of careers in business, finance, IT, astrophysics, geophysics, materials science, forensic science, medical science (e.g. Medical Physicist) and engineering. Physics will help you to build up your problem solving, research, and analytical skills. With these skills you will be able to test out new ideas plus question and investigate other peoples’ theories, which is useful for any kind of job that involves research or debate. Job roles where Physics is useful would include: Metallurgist, Nanotechnologist, Radiation Protection Practitioner, Teacher. Jobs where your degree would be useful include: Investment Analyst, Meteorologist, Nuclear Engineer, Operational Researcher, Patent Attorney, PPC Specialist and Systems Developer. Useful websites include the Institute of Physics, Physics.org, All About Careers and The Apprenticeship Guide.

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