Physics A level

A level Physics is suitable for students who have an interest in the subject and want to find out how things in the physical world work; who enjoy applying their mind to solving problems, and enjoy carrying out investigations by the application of imaginative, logical thinking; and who want to use physics to support other qualifications or progress to further studies. AS Physics is suitable for those who want a grounding in a relevant worthwhile qualification to either complement their Maths/sciences or as a separate science to support and balance a more artistic selection of subjects. Candidates would be generally be expected to possess a minimum of Grade B in GCSE Physics, or B-B in Science (Double Award). It will be very helpful to have at least a Grade B in GCSE Mathematics as numeracy and mathematical skills are important in physics. We work closely with the Mathematics Department to provide help for the non-A level Mathematics students if they have a problem with the Mathematics. Communication is also important in physics so students need to be able to communicate effectively, able to research and think critically about problems. Students will learn theory, and develop relevant practical skills throughout the course.

The qualification (AQA Physics A) builds on the knowledge, understanding and process skills that will have been developed in GCSE Science. The AS is a qualification in its own right. Students study three units in the AS (Units 1-3). The full A level is made up from the AS level and three more units (Units 4-6).

  • Unit 1    Particles, Quantum Phenomena and Electricity
  • Unit 4    Unit 4 Fields and Further Mechanics
  • Unit 2    Mechanics, Materials and Waves
  • Unit 5    Nuclear & Thermal Physics plus optional topic
  • Unit 3    Practical Exam AS
  • Unit 6    Practical Exam A2

The optional topics consist of a choice of Astrophysics, Medical physics, Applied physics or Turning Points in physics. There is no coursework in either ‘AS’ or ‘A’ level physics.

Why Physics?

If you are curious about how the material world works, then physics is the subject to pursue. It is a fascinating subject and is an important qualification in a wide range of careers in Technology and Science, particularly in engineering. It is also useful for medical and veterinary careers. Perhaps surprisingly, physics is also a very welcome qualification in law, banking, accountancy, media and marketing etc., since a good A level pass proves you possess good analytical and problem solving skills and are mathematically competent.

A Student's Perspective

'Physics at A Level is a challenging, yet rewarding course. It provides invaluable explanations for many processes, from how a kitchen light comes on to the marvels of E=mc2.  At A level you will experience topics familiar from GCSE, but at a far deeper level allowing you to understand and enjoy the topic. I have enjoyed this stimulating course immensely.'


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Mrs Aitkin Science Technician

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About Hampshire Collegiate School

Hampshire Collegiate School near Romsey is an independent school for boys and girls 2–18. Our 130 acre site – once home to Florence Nightingale – includes beautiful Grade II listed woodland gardens, sports pitches and educational facilities. We combine an ‘academic ambition’ programme with development of a wide range of skills and interests for every pupil.

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