AS/A Level Physics

Physics is crucial to understanding the world around us, the world inside us, and the world beyond us. It is the most basic and fundamental science, and the basis for virtually every other science. The study of Physics at AS GCE and Advanced GCE should be seen as a first step towards life-long learning and an understanding of technological advances and their impact on modern day society. The A-level Physics course at Bramdean School is based on the latest AQA GCE Physics specification.


The core syllabus is divided into eight compulsory sections and one option:

- Particles and Radiation
- Waves and Optics
- Mechanics and Materials
- Electricity
- Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics
- Fields
- Nuclear Physics
- Astrophysics, Medical Physics, Engineering Physics, Turning points in Physics or Electronics

In addition, there are sections on practical skills and mathematics skills which are taught and acquired throughout as required.

The first four sections will be studied in the As Physics course, while all nine sections are covered for the full A-level course. In addition, there is a unit on Practical and Investigative Skills in each of the two years.


This course follows a linear route, with exams at the end of the academic year. Students who choose to do only the As Physics course will sit papers 1 and 2 of the As course at the end of the first year. Assessment of practical skills in this AS specification will be by written exams only, with 15% of the marks in the papers relating to practical work.

Students who aim for the full A-level Physics qualification will sit papers 1 and 2 of the A-level course at the end of the two-year course only. These papers will cover all the work done over the whole course, with at least 15% of the marks in the papers relating to practical work. In addition, a separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. This will be internally assessed and will be based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams.

Please note that the practical assessments do not include coursework.

Career opportunities

Physics graduates are highly sought-after in apparently non-related fields such as research, industry, investment banking, corporate management, the military and journalism. Virtually all technological fields such as engineering, electronics, energy supply, medicine, space, telecommunications etc. are heavily dependent on people with physics qualifications, and A-level Physics is indeed a prerequisite for many university courses.