Why Choose Physics?
Studying A-level Physics doesn’t restrict your options, it expands them. As well as being needed for many careers in science and engineering the skills and knowledge that you can develop by studying physics keeps the door open to doing just about everything else. Physics is an exciting subject, providing insight into the world around us. It has been developed by some of the greatest minds through the ages, with brilliant breakthroughs even in the last few years. Physics challenges our imaginations with concepts like relativity and string theory, and it leads to great discoveries, like computers and lasers, that lead to technologies which change our lives.
What will you learn?
The AQA A-level Physics specification gives students a seamless transition from GCSE to university courses in Physics and Physics related disciplines. It maintains students’ enthusiasm for Physics and develops their interest in the subject. How Science Works offers practical and investigative experience throughout the two years of study.
You will study the concepts of particles and radiation, waves, mechanics, materials and electricity during the Year 12. The Year 13 develops further on mechanics, fields, thermal physics and nuclear physics. You will also study a specific ‘option unit’ which will be decided by the school, with input from students. The topic will be one of the following subjects: astrophysics, medical physics, engineering physics, turning points or electronics The practical skills of How Science Works are integrated throughout the course. There is an emphasis on developing key practical skills and you will carry out a number of required practicals throughout the two years. Physics by its nature has substantial mathematical content. Students must be prepared to develop their analytical and problem-solving skills, use ICT and think deeply.
Why study Physics at Ashmole Sixth Form?
At Ashmole Academy, you will work with two teachers who will provide continuous, individual and group support throughout the two year course. Teachers share a wide range of resources with students including lesson powerpoints, exam question and mark scheme booklets and wider reading material.
The Physics department have a wide range of facilities to utilise. There are a number of specialist laboratories with specialist equipment for practical work and a challenging learning program. We aim to not only learn the content and skills needed for examinations and further study, but to also aid you in becoming an effective student at university. We will help you to develop you independent, group work skills, communication, presenting and problem-solving skills.
Which subjects go well with Physics?
The mathematical requirement at A-level in physics is demanding. Hence, studying mathematics is the best subject to support your studies and it is recommended. The addition of further mathematics also provides a greater advantage. Many Engineering based courses look for physics and mathematics as the subjects required for entry.
Where it will lead you?
Physics is a highly regarded subject for higher education and many technical careers. It is essential for many areas of Engineering, Medicine and Science and is useful for subjects such as Computing, Architecture, Geology, Teaching and even Finance and Business. Some people spend their whole lives researching in pure Physics, perhaps working on the particle accelerators at CERN, using the giant telescopes and complex theories of Astrophysics for cosmology. Some are needed to investigate the evolution of the universe, search for habitable planets around other stars and search for dark matter and black holes.
There are also lots of UK jobs in engineering. People with a background in physics are needed more than ever to monitor climate change and find sustainable ways of generating electricity. We also need more engineers to work out how to save water, improve the world’s food supply, make travel more environmentally friendly and recycle waste on a large scale.
For more information on subject content structure please click here for the Sixth Form Information Booklet.
For admissions criteria for each subject please click here for the Sixth Form Prospectus
“A way to comprehend the incomprehensible”
"I am currently a year 12 student studying Physics, Maths and Economics at A-Level. I aspire to be a theoretical physicist studying in the field of dark matter or string theory.
I’ve been infatuated with physics since an early age, as I’ve always had a desire to understand the way things work and that’s exactly what physics is; a way to comprehend the incomprehensible. As Albert Einstein once said, “you should be able to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid!” which is why Physics is so engaging. It helps make sense of the world around us.
In addition, physics is one of the most respectable A-level choices due to the level of complexity and attention to detail required in the subject. It gives you transferable skills which can be used in a plethora of jobs from engineering to investment banking and as a bonus, is one of the best A-levels to get you into a good university.
From experience, I have found the physics department to be immensely helpful whenever I need any extra help or catch up sessions to solidify any knowledge. As well as this, they provide high quality lessons with many interactive and group activities, providing us with all of the relevant knowledge and skills required to be successful students.
‘We need to succeed’. Although physics may be on one of the most challenging subjects, if you put the work in completing flipped learning and assessed exercises, you will find it to be one of the most rewarding subjects by far."
"I am currently a year 12 student studying physics, mathematics and economics. In the future, I aspire to study engineering at university and specialise in electrical/robotic or aeronautical engineering. In year 11, when I was deciding what to study at A-level, my decision was mainly focused around which subjects interested me the most. I used my experience of the subjects at GCSE as well as looked at the A-level topics that the subjects go through to conclude which subjects were the most interesting and most compelling to me. Personally, I found physics to be one of the most appealing subjects due to its heavy maths involvement as well as the extraordinary topics, ranging from electricity to particles. After further research, I realised that studying maths, physics and economics meant opened up many pathways to careers. Studying physics not only allows you to have a wide range of options for the future, it is one of the most respected A-levels that will most certainly take you far in life. The physics department is excellent in ensuring that you understand all content taught in class and surrounding the subject. They do this by providing a high level support on an individual basis. It is integral that you ask teachers about content or skills you do not understand outside of the class, as this also aids you in being more independent.
I always knew from a very young age that I wanted to study physics after GCSE. I had such a strong connection with the subject as I wanted to understand how the world works, why it works and the way it does. So far I have been very pleased studying physics as it has helped me my understanding of how things work as well as challenge and push me to the very limit of my understanding. Not only will studying physics improve your critical thinking and interpretation skills, it will also make you see life in a different light, as it is so relatable to everyday life. You will be able to understand concepts that you would have never thought of in the first place. If you have strong maths skills, you never give up, and you love a challenge; then A-level physics is for you."
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