Exam Board: AQA


The aims of the A Level Physics course is for students to successfully study the physical world and gain a unique insight into how our universe functions.

Entry Requirements

In order to be able to cope with the academic rigours of study at this advanced level, students should have Grade 7 or higher in GCSE Physics or Additional Science and Grade 7 in Mathematics. If you are not a native English speaker, an IELTS score of 6.5 will enable you to access the course.

Course Structure

You will have covered many of the A Level Physics topics at GCSE, including forces, waves, radioactivity, electricity and magnetism.

At A Level, you will 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, quantum mechanics, cosmology and medical physics.

Year 1

  • Foundations of Physics
  • Energy and Power
  • Charge and Current
  • Resistance
  • Circuits
  • Optics
  • Waves
  • Motion
  • Momentum
  • Work, Energy and Power
  • Laws of Motion
  • Materials

Year 2

  • Development of Practical Skills
  • Simple Harmonic Motion
  • Thermal Physics
  • Gases
  • Quantum Physics
  • Electric Fields
  • Magnetic Fields
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Radioactivity
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Capacitors
  • Particle Physics


  • Paper 1 – 85 marks.
  • Paper 2 – 85 marks.
  • Paper 3: Section A (45 marks).
  • Plus one Optional Unit from below, 35 marks awarded:
    • Paper 3: Section B (Astrophysics – option).
    • Paper 3: Section B (Medical Physics – option).
    • Paper 3: Section B (Engineering Physics – option).
    • Paper 3: Section B (Turning Points in Physics – option).
    • Paper 3: Section B (Electronics – option).

In addition, there is an assessment of practical skills, assessed by completion of a series of practical activities completed throughout the course.

Core Text

AQA A Level Physics text book; ISBN-13: 978-0-19-835187-0 and practical handbook ISBN 9781292245300.

Careers and Opportunities

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.

By studying Physics, students are opening the door to a wide variety of rewarding careers. As well as learning about how the universe works, students will get a broad training in skills that all employers value – an ability to grasp concepts clearly, a determination to find coherent answers, plus problem-solving, analytical, mathematical and IT skills. An ‘A’ Grade in Physics is highly valued by leading British universities. Careers in physics may be versatile, but if you have decided to pursue a career in architecture, engineering, IT or medicine, or even management and finance, the skills developed by studying Physics are highly regarded.