Physics A Level

Course Description

If you enjoy practical work and problem solving, and want to be involved in cutting-edge industries in the 21st century, then A Level Physics is the course for you. Physics underpins all science and engineering, and is crucial to careers in such diverse fields as aeronautical and mechanical engineering, medical sciences, electronics, space exploration and robotics. Physicists are crucial in developing state of the art technology, from touch screen tablets, virtual reality headsets, to driverless cars, and autonomous battlefield robots.

Entry Requirements

Students will be expected to have at least two GCSEs at grade 6, English Language at grade 5 and the remainder no less than grade 4. If you have studied Double Award or Combined Science, you will be expected to have a double grade 6 in Science and grade 6 in Mathematics (higher grade tier). If you have studied separate sciences, you will be expected to have GCSE grade 6 in Physics and grade 6 from Chemistry or Biology and grade 6 in Mathematics. You are strongly advised to take A Level Mathematics, as this is essential to study Physics at university.

Course Content

You will develop and be assessed on your knowledge of both experimental and theoretical physics. During the first year you will build on what you’ve covered at GCSE, the core physics of mechanics, waves and electrical circuits along with the exciting world of quantum physics. In the second year you will study Newton’s theories of gravity, thermal physics and begin to explore the new frontiers of physics – field theory, nuclear and particle physics, astrophysics and medical imaging. You will build up a portfolio of experimental work to demonstrate the development of your practical skills and you will receive a separate qualification that will sit alongside your A level qualification.


Physics A Level is a linear course with all external exams at the end of the two year course.

Enrichment and Work Experience

There is an opportunity to complete a one-week work placement in the summer term and an opportunity to visit the Jodrell Bank Observatory – the largest radio observatory in the UK. We use the website Isaac Physics which stretches students far beyond the syllabus, with some very hard problems and is composed by the University of Cambridge. Additionally, Isaac Physics organises free lectures and workshops at the University of Manchester, which provide opportunities for physics trips.

Additional Information

Students need to bring basic stationery and a calculator to lessons, be punctual, engaged and ready to learn. We also expect you to commit to at least 5 hours per week outside of lesson on independent learning. This will include: homework, reading, research and revision for this subject.

Links with other subjects:
Physics links well with Biology, Chemistry, Computing, and, Mathematics. Students also combine it with subjects such as Economics, Geography, or Further Maths, depending on their interests.

Future Career Opportunities

Physicists are crucial in developing state-of-the- art technology and studying physics can lead to careers in designing aeroplanes, vehicles, buildings, or even robots. Alternatively, you may consider a career in space exploration or researching into new materials and products for the future. Advanced Level knowledge of Physics is recognised as enhancing students understanding in science related courses at university. In diverse fields such as medicine, optometry, dentistry, geology, chemistry, biology and biomedical sciences, A Level Physics is highly regarded by university admissions tutors.

Why study at The Sixth Form Bolton?

The Sixth Form has attractive, well equipped teaching laboratories in which you will have every opportunity to link theory with practice and develop confident practical skills. We have good links with both Salford and Liverpool Universities, which have allowed our students to experience undergraduate practical work with them. You can also join small tutorial groups in addition to your classes which are tailored to your needs and you can receive help with any topic that is proving difficult.

Students have had the opportunity to visit the European Centre for Particle Physics, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland where the Large Hadron Collider is housed.