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A Level Physics

Course outline

Studying physics gives you a fascinating insight into the universe, looking in depth at how it came into existence and the scientific principles which govern our world.

This is a challenging but very rewarding course for anyone who enjoys problem solving and wants answers to the big questions about space, time, matter and energy.

To ensure you’re fully geared up to succeed in physics, it’s expected you’ll also be studying A Level Maths. A Level Computer Science and Chemistry are good matches with physics and provide many routes after A Levels.

You will use maths skills and scientific reasoning to find answers to your questions about how the world works. This exciting and challenging course is highly regarded by universities and future employers.

Year 1:

  • Mechanics and Materials
  • Particles and Radiation
  • Waves and Optics
  • Electricity

Year 2:

  • Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics
  • Fields (Gravitational, Electric & Magnetic)
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Radiation
  • Option (Often Astrophysics)

Required Practicals:

  • Year 1: 6
  • Year 2: 6

These are assessed over the two year period and are awarded at either “Pass” or “Fail” and are awarded independently of the A Level. Some universities require a “Pass” as part of the entry requirements.

The course is around 80% theory and 20% practical, as the exams are theory based, aside from the required practical assessments, which sit separate from the A Level.

You will study this course alongside 2 or 3 other A Levels and you will be able to select your chosen subjects when you apply online.

Aged 19 or over?

If you don't already hold a Level 3 qualification (equivalent to at least two A Levels, or a Level 3 vocational qualification), you may be able to study this course fully funded!

The Government’s new National Skills Fund programme has created new opportunities for adults, aged 19 and over, to access fully funded full-time learning.

For more information, view our Funded Courses for Over 19s page.

If you are aged 16-18 without having achieved a Level 3 qualification, you will also be eligible for full funding.

How to apply for this course

Apply now to study an A Level Programme in 2024/25

You will select your individual subjects when you complete the application.

Want to find out more first?

Get in touch by hitting the button below and filling out our enquiry form.

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Location Date
Chaucer Street

Start: Monday 2nd September 2024

Course code: C000450 / Q000512


AQA A Level Physics


2 years

Level Level 3
Entry requirements

2 year A Level Programme:

  • To study 3 A Levels you’ll need at least 5 GCSE’s at grades 9-4 including GCSE English at grade 4 or above and Maths at grade 6 or above.
  • To study 4 A Levels you’ll need at least 6 GCSE’s at grades 9-7 including GCSE English and Maths at grade 7 or above.
  • One of your GCSEs must be a Grade 7 or above in GCSE Physics or GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy
  • If not studying A Level Maths, discussion and approval by a physics tutor will be necessary

The following qualifications are NOT accepted:

  • GCSE Applied Science
  • GCSE Combined Science: Synergy
  • BTEC Science

The programme of study is for 2 years, and you will be expected to be achieving a minimum of grade D in all subject assessments by the end of year 1 to progress to your 2nd year.

Applicants with predicted GCSE grades 1 or 2 points below the entry requirement for an A Level:

If your predicted grades do not meet the entry requirements for either 1 or 2 of your chosen A Level subject choices, don’t worry we will still make you a conditional offer. We advise that you think about a second choice of course as a back-up plan. You can meet with us for a supportive, friendly and impartial discussion to look at other courses that Nottingham College has to offer. For more information contact High Pavement Sixth Form admissions by telephone on 0115 9100 100 or email at

Applicants who choose 4 subjects but only have the entry requirements to study 3:

If your predicted grades do not meet the entry requirements to study 4 A Level subjects, don’t worry we will still make you a conditional offer for all 4. At your ‘Get Ready for College’ day you will undertake tasters in your subjects and at this point you can discuss your options with subject staff at the event, to help you finalise your subject choices. Final A Level choices however will be made at enrolment in August when your GCSE results are confirmed.

Teaching & assessment

There are three 2 hour papers:

  • Paper 1 – All of first year + Further Mechanics
  • Paper 2 – Rest of year 2
  • Paper 3 – Practicals and Option

Physics is a very versatile A-Level as it can lead to many different areas.

Degree: Mathematics, Physics, Mathematical Physics, Engineering, Aerodynamics, Architecture, any other degree that requires logical thought.

Degree Apprenticeship: Engineering based.

Careers: Astronomer, Clinical Scientist, Lecturer, Nanotechnologist, Radiation Protection Practitioner, Research Scientist, Teacher, Sound Engineer, Data Analyst, Nuclear Engineer, Operational Researcher, Patent Attorney, Software Engineer, Telecommunications Researcher.

Additional information

You will need:

  • Folders to keep work in order
  • Scientific calculator
  • Text books:
    • Any AQA Alevel physics textbook will be suitable. However we use Oxford for year 1 and Hodder for Year 2.

Students aged 16-18 don't have to pay tuition fees.

If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss National, please visit our EU Settled Status scheme page for more information.