Physics
A Level

Awarding Body: OCR

Course Description

Physics A Level enables students to build on their knowledge of the laws of physics, applying their understanding to solve problems on topics ranging from subatomic particles to the entire universe. Careers within the sciences, medicine, engineering, the computer industry, architecture and cosmology all value this facilitating A Level.

Grade 6 or above in GCSE Maths and minimum Grade 6 in Physics and on other GCSE Science subject or a 6 in GCSE Double Science. You must also enrol on A Level Mathematics.

As an international student you must:

  • Demonstrate a suitable level of academic English, normally at CEFR level B1. For Tier Visa applications Portsmouth College recommends a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 overall (with no component lower than 5) to best succeed in your studies.
  • Demonstrate that you are competent to study at Level 3 in your chosen subjects during your application, including certificates of your qualifications and subject specific requirements such as evidence of an art portfolio for entry on to one of our Art courses.
  • Successfully complete a Skype interview with the College to discuss and assess your choices.

You will already be familiar with many of the topics that you will study, including forces, waves, radioactivity, electricity and magnetism. At A Level, you’ll look at these areas in more detail and find out how they are interconnected. You will also learn how to apply maths to real-world problems and explore new areas such as particle physics, cosmology and medical physics.

Perhaps more importantly, you will develop skills that can be transferred to just about any other area of work, from setting up a business to saving the planet. Even if you don’t go on to become a physicist, learning to think like one will help you get to the root of any problem and draw connections that aren’t obvious to others. Physics won’t give you all the answers, but it will teach you how to ask the right questions.

Emphasis throughout the course is on developing knowledge, competence and confidence in practical skills and problem solving.

Paper 1: Modelling Physics:

  • Total Marks: 100
  • Duration: 2 hours 15 mins
  • Weight: 37%
  • Assesses content from: Modules 1, 2, 3 and 5

Paper 2: Exploring Physics

  • Total Marks: 100
  • Duration: 2 hours 15 mins
  • Weighing: 37%
  • Assesses content from: Modules 1, 2, 4 and 6

Paper 3: Unified Physics

  • Total Marks: 70
  • Duration: 1 hours 30 mins
  • Weighing: 26%
  • Assesses content from: All modules (1 to 6)

Paper 4: Practical Endorsement in Physics

  • Non-exam assessment

Studying Physics A level at Portsmouth College gives you the opportunity to visit the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland. In addition, you will be offered to take part in the annual Blott Matthews Challenge. You will also get a chance to experience the Farnborough Airshow and visit Southampton and Portsmouth University on their open days.

Studying physics can help you to develop a range of skills that can be applied in many areas, both scientific and non-technical. These skills include: problem solving , with a pragmatic and analytical approach, and reasoning, by constructing logical arguments, applying analytical skills and grasping complex problems.

A physics degree is a great starting point for a career in scientific research, as well as in a range of careers in the business, finance, IT and engineering sectors.

All external exams are held in the summer of the second year of study.