A Level

Awarding Body: OCR A

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.

A grade 6 in GCSE Maths is required along with a minimum grade 6 in GCSE Physics and one other GCSE Science subject, or grade 6 in Double Science. Students taking Physics are also required to take 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.

The course consists of the following areas of study:

  • Development of Practical Skills in Physics
  • Foundations in Physics
  • Forces and Motion
  • Electrons, Waves and Photons
  • Newtonian World and Astrophysics
  • Particles and Medical Physics

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.