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A Level Physics

You will learn about advanced physics concepts, including classical areas such as mechanics, forces, waves and magnetism, as well as modern physics topics including quantum physics, particle physics and astrophysics, and how to apply these ideas to solve real-life problems.

why choose this course?

A Level Physics is an academic course designed to increase your knowledge, skills and understanding of the physical sciences and support your ability to apply that knowledge to solve problems. The course is studied as part of a programme of A Levels and has both theory and experimental components to the course. Physics allows you to understand the fundamental structure of the universe from atoms (or smaller!) to galaxies (or bigger!) and how the matter within the universe interacts. Through focused lectures we will explore these topics and how to use mathematical approaches to apply these ideas to a large range of real-life situations.

You will discover that the same underlying physical laws can be applied from everyday situations such as electric circuits or theme park rides to complex situations like particle accelerators or black holes. You will study through theory and experimental based lectures, meeting new concepts and applying them to a range of situations. You will develop your problem solving and mathematical skills, as well as understanding of a range of diverse topics, and there will be a clear focus on how to apply your understanding to solve problems of increasing complexity. There is a large emphasis on the application of mathematics within the course and how it can be used to explain the world around us. Practical lectures will enable you to develop confidence in working experimentally, as well as increasing your knowledge and skills regarding scientific method, data analysis and the presenting of data. We are also very keen to offer students to opportunity to engage in stretch and challenge activities, such as Olympiad competitions, and to support our students to make rewarding progression to higher education, work based training or employment. Students benefit from access to three modern physics laboratories, as well as a staff team with substantial expertise within the teaching of physics at this level.

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Start date: 09/09/2024

Course code
ALPHYSI24T
Level
Level 3
Location
Truro College
Duration
2 years
Qualification
A Level

TOP COURSE HIGHLIGHTS

excellent lecturer support

outstanding facilities

stretch and challenge opportunities

highly structured delivery

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Friendly and supportive specialist staff

Our physics staff at the college are a highly experienced team who focus on delivery of physics-based content in the 16-19 curriculum. We help to engage students and nurture their enthusiasm of the subject whilst also giving all learners the support they need to achieve on the course.

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detailed lecturer feedback

Our course delivery is highly structured to ensure you have a holistic understand of the course and its assessment from the start of your time with us. You will have a clear understanding of your progress in the subject, and regular assessments and detailed lecturer feedback will support you to further improve.

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Superb resources

We have a wide range of physical and digital resources to support your learning and help you to achieve highly on the course.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

In your first year of study you’ll begin by exploring classical (Newtonian) mechanics, allowing you to understand how objects move and interact in terms of everyday forces. You’ll then progress into explaining electric circuits in terms of current, potential difference and resistance, by considering the motion of charge carriers. You will also learn about material properties and how different materials behave when exposed to different forces before moving on to consider classical wave theory, followed by more contemporary physics, such as using observational evidence to argue for a quantum mechanical treatment of light.

In your second year of study you will build upon the concepts already met by initially considering more complex mechanics such as circular motion and momentum transfer, followed by a thorough analysis of electric and magnetic fields (and their applications). This content is then brought together to consider how particle accelerators and detectors function, and the particles we have discovered as a result. You then move on to studying a more mathematical representation of oscillations, followed by the physics of nuclear decay and thermodynamic systems, which are then brought together (with an understanding of gravitational fields) to consider how stars are formed. From this you will then consider star life cycles (including neutron stars and black holes), astronomical measurements and galaxy motion, leading to the idea of an expanding universe – culminating in addressing current astrophysical concepts such as the Big Bang, dark matter, dark energy and the ultimate fate of the universe.

The twelve topics below are studied over the two years and are assessed via three exam papers at the end of the two year linear course. The role of the physicist in today’s society is also considered along with modern advances in technology.

Paper 1 – Advanced Physics I (exam) – Topics covered are:

Mechanics (Motion and Forces)

Electric Circuits

Further Mechanics (Momentum and Circular Motion)

Electric and Magnetic Fields

Nuclear and Particle Physics

Paper 2 – Advanced Physics II (exam) – Topics covered are:

Materials

Waves and Particle Nature of Light

Thermodynamics

Space

Nuclear Radiation

Gravitational Fields

Oscillations

Paper 3 – General and Practical Principles in Physics (exam)

Problems based on synoptic contexts that require solutions that draw on two or more different topics already met. Assessment of conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods (including practical skills).

Science Practical Endorsement (continuous assessment)

You will develop practical skills throughout the A Level course which will lead to a practical endorsement. You will be required to undertake 12 core practical investigations, but you will experience many more throughout the course as practical work is fundamental to physics and reinforces theory met. The practical skills developed throughout the A Level programme will be assessed by your lecturers and will be based on direct observation of your competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams. Evidence to support the practical endorsement is gained over the course of the two years and is assessed on a pass or fail basis.

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Where will it take me?

Physics is a highly respected A Level and an understanding of physics is desirable for a variety of university courses and valued for most degree subjects. It is also valued by employers worldwide. Studying physics provides you with many skills such as problem solving, communication, creativity, and teamwork.

If you want to study physics, electronics or engineering you will need A Level Physics. Other course progression options include mathematics, computer science, chemistry, geology, medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, environmental science.

Physical scientists are much sought after and can pursue careers in many exciting and varied fields of work including applied sciences, engineering, computing, finance, and meteorology.

 Note: Students who want to study a degree in physics or most forms of engineering at university are expected to study A Level Mathematics as well.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Minimum of 5 GCSEs grades 4 or above, including at least GCSE Physics grade 6 or GCSE Combined Science grades 6 6, GCSE English grade 5 and GCSE Maths grade 6.

ASSESSMENT ARRANGEMENTS

Your achievement in this subject is dependent upon excellent attendance, punctuality and effort. You will learn in a friendly atmosphere, using a variety of assessment methods:

You will be assessed through end of topic tests under timed conditions in class, regular homework questions and through completion of class activities. You will then be given detailed feedback on your progress.

Investigative skills and understanding are a vital part of the scientific process and you will be expected develop your practical proficiency throughout the course.

You will review your own performance in 1:1 sessions with your tutor.

You will undertake mock examinations on each unit in advance of your final exams.

You will sit formal A Level exams at the end of your two years of study. A Level grades will be based only on marks for written exams, and your practical endorsement will be assessed separately as pass or fail.

INFORMATION & SUPPORT

You will be expected to undertake at least 4-6 hours of independent study time per week. Throughout the year you will be able to access additional support through drop-in sessions, dedicated revision workshops, tailored 1:1 provision, as well as a variety of additional opportunities to stretch and challenge the most able students. We encourage you to proactively engage with the support available in order to reach your full potential.

Meet the staff, tour the campus and find out about life as a student at one of the best colleges in the country.

What you could earn

  • Physical Scientists
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Potential Salary

£59,846

Entry Level Salary

£21,334

Average Salary

£36,313

Annual openings in Cornwall

9

Potential Salary

£53,170

Entry Level Salary

£17,981

Average Salary

£35,953

Annual openings in Cornwall

25

Potential Salary

£64,561

Entry Level Salary

£26,279

Average Salary

£42,918

Annual openings in Cornwall

14

Potential Salary

£44,373

Entry Level Salary

£15,818

Average Salary

£26,924

Annual openings in Cornwall

12

Potential Salary

£69,614

Entry Level Salary

£23,738

Average Salary

£39,680

Annual openings in Cornwall

23

Potential Salary

£45,608

Entry Level Salary

£23,753

Average Salary

£29,917

Annual openings in Cornwall

7

Potential Salary

£71,444

Entry Level Salary

£15,646

Average Salary

£44,379

Annual openings in Cornwall

22

Potential Salary

£30,538

Entry Level Salary

£8,396

Average Salary

£20,766

Annual openings in Cornwall

28

Our colleges

Truro College
College Road
Truro
Cornwall
TR1 3XX

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