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Course Overview

Physics B (Advancing Physics) takes a context-led approach. You will study physics in a range of different contexts, conveying the excitement of contemporary physics. The course provides a distinctive structure within which to learn about fundamental physical concepts and about physics in everyday and technological settings. Some of the ideas you will learn about include mechanical properties of materials, communication and signalling, waves, electric, magnetic and gravitational fields, quantum behaviour and fundamental particles. Practical skills are embedded throughout the course, and you are expected to carry out practical work in preparation for a written examination that will specifically test these skills.

Assessment & Examination

You will sit three examinations at the end of your two years of study:

Fundamentals of Physics: This is a 2 hour 15 minute written examination, that contributes 41% to the total A Level.

Scientific literacy in Physics: This is a 2 hour 15 minute written examination, that contributes 37% to the total A Level.

Practical skills in Physics: This is a 1 hour 30 minute written examination, that contributes 22% to the total A Level.

Practical Endorsement in Physics: You are also required to complete the Practical Endorsement in Physics, which is a set of practical experiments conducted during the course. A pass/fail grade is achieved and is reported separately from the final A Level grade.


You will have access to scientific resources in college, but you will be expected to provide a scientific calculator as well as basic stationery.

Prior Knowledge

In addition to a solid GCSE knowledge from either Physics or Combined Science, a good understanding of mathematics is also necessary. For this reason, it is expected that should you opt to study A Level Physics, you will also choose A Level Maths.

Beyond The Course

The A Level Physics course is highly recommended for students that really enjoy Physics and those who possibly need it to access certain university courses (e.g. Engineering or other science based courses). Students who study Physics may go on to enjoy careers in a variety of sectors, including Engineering, Technology and other STEM related industries. Many students also join the Institute of Physics, in order to gain access to additional support as they begin careers related to physics.

Entry Requirements

Level 6 in Physics or Combined Science Level 6. Students taking Physics must also study A Level Maths.

Entry to Sixth Form also requires:

  • GCSE Level 5 in English Language or English Literature;
  • GCSE Level 5 in Maths;
  • Four other GCSEs at Level 5, in addition to English and Maths.

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Mr N J Whittle