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Physics will be of interest if you are curious about the world around you, how things work and the fundamental nature of the universe.

Topics build upon your GCSE knowledge and your study will link together showing how, using the scientific method and problem-solving skills, we can describe the universe from the Big Bang to today and tomorrow.

The course includes a significant amount of practical experiment work that you carry out in our well-equipped laboratories. Use of computers and data loggers are embedded throughout the course.

Students have the opportunity to take part in various enrichments including the Senior Physics Challenge and trips to CERN in Geneva.


You will study the following topics:

  • Particle Physics and Quantum Phenomena
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and Materials
  • Electricity
  • Simple Harmonic Motion
  • Thermal Physics
  • Gravitational and Electromagnetic Fields
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Astrophysics

You will need (or equivalent to);

  • GCSE Mathematics grade 6/B or above
  • GCSE English Language or Literature grade 5 or above
  • GCSE Physics/Double Science at grade 6/B or above
  • plus two more GCSEs grade 4/C or above

If you study Physics A Level you must also study either Mathematics, Computer Science or Chemistry to support your studies.

For Physics to be taken as a third science alongside Biology and Chemistry you will need to have achieved GCSE Maths grade 7.

There are three, 2 hour written exams at end of the course and a separate practical component assessed throughout the course.

If you intend to study Physics, Electronics or other closely-related subjects at degree level than Physics A level will be essential and Engineering at university will require Physics A Level in most cases. 

Students with Physics A Level are particularly highly sought after, as they have attributes such as excellent problem-solving skills which are much in demand. For example, many Medical schools and Business/Economics departments appreciate the abilities that Physics students have and look upon such students favourably.

Past students have gone onto Russell Group Universities including Oxbridge to study subjects like Physics, Engineering or Maths degrees.

Other destinations include Apprenticeships with employers including the MOD and EDF.

Physics has one of the highest earnings outcomes for A Level subjects.

Will I be the only female student doing Physics?

Nationally, female students are currently less likely to progress to A Level Physics than male students, even when the subject is one of their best results at GCSE. We want this to change and we encourage female applicants. Currently around 20% of Physics students are female. Due to the large number of students doing Physics at Richard Huish, there are usually several female students in each class.