Studying physics is about finding out what the universe is made of and how things work and interact with each other. It is concerned with the most basic building blocks of all things – from ants to antennas, from quarks to quasars.
Physics gives students a new understanding of the world around them. They can look at a rainbow and not just marvel at its beauty but also understand how it is formed. Physics also teaches students to question the way things are.
Through studying physics, students develop new ways of looking at the world and new thinking skills. These thinking skills can be applied to other disciplines such as chemistry, biology, medicine, earth and planetary sciences, are useful in the world of work and help students further appreciate everyday life.
Students who study physics have great job prospects and end up in all sorts of interesting jobs because of their broad training and adaptability. Many students with physics qualifications go on to have successful careers in the space and/or aerospace industries, medicine, technology, engineering, research and development, the stock market, teaching and/or IT and software industries.
Physics in sixth form follows the CCEA GCE Physics specification which is comprised of two levels: AS and A2. The AS can be taken as a ‘stand-alone’ qualification without progression to A2. However, to obtain the Advanced GCE qualification, students must complete both the AS and A2 levels.
The specification has a modular structure and students are required to study three modules at each level. The modules are listed below and are all compulsory
- AS 1: Forces, Energy and Electricity
- AS 2: Waves, Photons and Medical Physics
- AS 3: Practical Techniques
- A2 1: Momentum, Thermal Physics, Circular Motion, Oscillations and Atomic and Nuclear Physics
- A2 2: Fields and their Applications
- A2 3: Practical Techniques
The specification aims to provide, through well designed studies of experimental and relevant Physics, a worth-while experience for all students which will enable them to study successfully beyond this
For entry to Physics at AS level, pupils should have achieved a B in their GCSE Physics and an A in their GCSE Mathematics. If studying Further Mathematics at GCSE, then a B grade is required in this.