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An award winning sixth-form college in the heart of Central London offering a wide range of GCSE and A-Level courses

The quality of the curriculum, teaching and learners' achievements is excellent

T (+44) 20 7409 7273
Albemarle Independent College, 18 Dunraven Street, Mayfair, London W1K 7FE


A Level Course Outline

What is Physics?


As you probably know from GCSE, Physics is the science of the physical world. There are few completely new topics at A-level that you won't have come across. Many Higher Level calculation topics are simply repeated, e.g. acceleration and kinetic/potential energy, voltage-current-resistance, while others e.g. heat energy electromagnetism and astronomy have calculation introduced at A-level, while only descriptive at GCSE. Maths is involved in A-level Physics but you do not need to do A-level Maths. You just need to be good at most higher-tier GCSE maths, formulae (using and re-arranging them), graphs e.g. y=mx+c, Pythagoras, sin cos and tan percentages and standard form.

In the second year of the course, full A-level, in module 5 you will study further mechanics such as circular motion and oscillations, heat energy, the kinetic molecule theory of gases, then astronomy-planet orbits, stars and the Big Bang theory of the Universe. Module 6 is electromagnetism, (motors generators and transformers), radioactivity particle physics and medical physics.

There is no “coursework” or practical examinations to worry about. Instead you will do experiments on most topics throughout the course and will answer exam questions about the experiments you did. In the second year of A-level there is the “Practical Endorsement” which you will pass based on your practical work during the course. This is the teacher saying we have seen you set up and use the equipment for the practicals done over the course.

Students will face questions based on:

What Skills Will Students Develop by Studying Physics?

PHYSICS (OCR) Syllabus A H156 Specification

Component 1 Modelling physics (mechanics and astrophysics)
Modules 1,2 3 and 5
2hours 15 Minutes
37% of A-level
Available in June

Component 2 Exploring physics (electricity , waves particle physics radioactivity medical)
Modules 1,2 4 and 6
2hours 15minutes 37% of A-level
Available in June

Module 1 Development of practical skills in physics-i.e. experiments and data analysis.
Module 2 Foundations of physics. S.I. units, and vectors
Module 3 Forces and Motion Forces
Motion, acceleration forces F=ma, moments, momentum pressure Energy work power, stretching solids, Hooke's Law
Module 5 Thermal physics, heat energy, kinetic theory of gas molecules. Mechanics-circular motion, oscillations. Astrophysics. Gravitational fields including planet orbits, Star life cycle, light spectra from stars the Big Bang theory of the universe.

Component 3 Unified Physics
(synoptic paper on everything)
1 hour 30 minutes 26% of A-level
Available in June

Practical Endorsement (pass or fail, reported separately)

Module 4 Electrons Waves and Photons Waves (refraction polarisation diffraction and standing waves), electricity (current voltage resistance) Wave particle nature of light, (quantum physics).
Module 6 Further electricity capacitors electric fields, motors, generators, transformers. Radioactivity, particle physics. Medical physics-X Rays and ultrasound.

Course structure
Skills learnt in Physics are relevant to many highly paid careers in technology, IT, finance, engineering and medicine if physics is not your first subject. This course will be taught for 6x 1hour lessons per week which involves covering the course content, practical work, and exam practice.

Core Textbook
OCR AS/A Level Physics A Student Book 2
Mike O'Neill-ISBN 13-978-1447990833

Introductory Reading
CGP Revision Guide New 2015 A-Level Physics: OCR A Year 1 & AS Complete Revision & Practice with Online Edition
ISBN-13: 9781782942955

Further Reading
Introducing Quantum Theory J.P McEvoy, Oscar Zarate
Six Easy Pieces Richard Feynman