Portfolio courses in Physics

Maths for Physics

This programme is compulsory for students who study physics without Maths A level. Students have one lesson a week in a small group with a physics teacher practicing the maths skills needed for the current topics. This course does not lead to a qualification in maths and it is highly recommended to study Maths A level, progression beyond A level in Physics or Engineering will require A level Maths.


This course for second year students introduces navigating the night sky and will help you to investigate and understand the exciting array of objects and phenomena that occupy our Universe.

In the first term you’ll be taken on a leisurely tour of the cosmos, starting with our familiar friend The Sun.  You’ll pass near-Earth objects such as asteroids, comets and space junk before heading out to look at different types of star and then other galaxies, ultimately uncovering the dark matter that holds these colossal objects together.

In the second term you’ll look in more detail at exoplanets (planets outside our solar system), delve into their atmospheres and see how this informs Astrobiology and the search for life.  Finally, you’ll carry out a project of your choosing, which you’ll have the opportunity to share with your peers at the end of the course.

During the course you’ll learn how to analyse and process real images of stars and galaxies and how to interpret the data held in their starlight.  You’ll even have the chance to access and book your own online observations with a professional telescope.

This is not a practical course but you will be using computer software to analyse and process images and data.  There will also be opportunities to get hands-on with a telescope.

Computer Aided Design

This course for second year students provides the opportunity to learn how to design items using online CAD software. In the first term we practise using onshape software. In the second term students complete an individual project either continuing their CAD work or learning some electronics skills through programming Arduino boards.