A Level Physics gives you a closer look and a deeper understanding of the laws of the universe.


“The important thing is not to stop questioning … One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality.”
Albert Einstein

The world we live in has been completely transformed by the scientific developments of the last 200 years. These developments have been built upon the work of scientists like Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein who sought to discover and describe the physical laws that govern this amazing universe we live in. In GCSE Physics, you will have been introduced to some of these people and their discoveries, but A level Physics gives you a closer look and a deeper understanding of the laws of the universe.


Since 2015, we have followed the OCR Physics A linear specification, which is divided into 6 modules, each covering a key concept in Physics.

The modules are:

Both years 1: Development of practical skills in physics
Year 1 2: Foundations in physics
3: Forces and motion
4: Electrons, waves and photons
Year 2 5: Newtonian world and astrophysics
6: Particles and medical physics

Students take progression exams at the end of Year 1, and subject to a suitable pass grade, can move into Year 2.

Over the course of two years you will explore:

  • The different properties of materials; why certain materials are used to make computers, buildings and replacement body parts
  • The existence and behaviour of waves; how musical instruments produce their notes
  • The wave-particle paradox
  • How electricity is created; how early televisions were invented
  • How atoms were discovered; what you get when you smash an atom into pieces
  • How we have developed theories of the lives of stars and the size of the universe without ever leaving the Solar System.


Physics is available as an 18 Month A level Programme.

Students complete either half or the full AS Level from January until the May examinations and the remainder of the course, including covering any remaining AS Level material, in their A2 year. The way in which the course is structured depends upon subject choice.

Students taking the 18 month A Level will often only take three subjects, yet, if an extra AS Level is needed to support a university application, we always try and accommodate this.


Paper Modules Weighting Length
1 1,2,3 and 5 Section A – multiple choice questions (15 marks)
Section B – short answer questions including extended response (85 marks)
37% 2h 15 min
2 1,2,4 and 6 Section A – multiple choice questions (15 marks)
Section B – short answer questions including extended response (85 marks)
37% 2h 15 min
3 1-6 Short answer questions including extended response (70 marks) 26% 1h 30 min

Practical work: 12 practicals must be completed to create a portfolio, which provides evidence for the Practical Endorsement. Questions about these practicals will be tested in the written papers.


Physics requires an enquiring mind, a desire to see how things work and to uncover the basic rules which govern the universe. You should be a person who never accepts blindly what you are told but always looks for the evidence which backs it up. You will need to develop your abilities to work independently and take responsibility for your own progress. Ideally, you will have at least a B grade (level 6) in GCSE science (double or separate sciences) and mathematics, but we have worked with students from a variety of backgrounds and experience.


You need to be comfortable with using Maths as a tool. Although it is not essential to take A Level Maths you will find it a great help – indeed many students study Maths and Further Maths along with Physics. Chemistry and Biology are obvious choices to study alongside Physics if you want to study a science based course at university, Economics if you are thinking of an Engineering or Economics course and Art if you are considering Architecture or Design.


Physics trains you to think logically, develop reasoned arguments and look for relevant information in a large amount of data. Some career choices are obvious: physics, engineering, aeronautics, and Architecture for example. However, the skills you will develop are also highly desirable for careers in law, finance and management. Another career option for physics graduates is radiography and medical physics.


Q: Can I study the course in one year?
A: Yes. But only if you already have experience at A Level or equivalent. Students without a complete portfolio of practical work will have the opportunity to complete the Practical Endorsement during the course.


To study A Levels, your current or pending exam results should be equivalent to or higher than GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) in at least 5 subjects and a minimum level of English equivalent to IELTS 5.5.

At the start of each academic year of study students following an A Level course without a pass at Level 5/Grade C in GCSE or IGCSE English Language or with an Academic English score below 6.5 overall must join an Academic English training course for the duration of the academic year which will be timetabled alongside A Level lessons.

If your level of English is not sufficient to meet the entry criteria for the A Level programme you will normally be offered a place on the one year Academic Preparation Course (pre A Level) in order to bring your English skills up to the required level.