A Level Physics

Name of course

A-Level Physics

Examining board

AQA (7408)

Link to specification More information about the course can be found from the exam board website here

Course Entry Requirements


To study Physics at A Level you must have achieved at least:

  • a Grade 6 in Physics or Combined Science Grades 6,6 or higher
  • AND a Grade 7 in Maths GCSE

To study 2 or more Sciences (Chemistry/Biology/Physics) you must have Grade 7s in those subjects and combined science pupils will need Grade 7-7 or higher. 

Why study Physics?



For most science and engineering courses both A-level physics and maths are required. It is important to

remember that although many jobs outside science do not require you to have studied a specific subject, studying

a recommended A-level (such as physics) can give you an advantage. Seven Kings also has close links with the

Ogden Trust and offers many extracurricular opportunities through these links such as:

  • Isaac Physics Classes
  • School Physicist of the Year
  • Kings College lectures
  • Rail Week
  • Think Space lecture series
  • History of Science lectures
  • British Physics Olympiad
  • Safe Cracking Challenge
  • Pyramids Project
  • UK Rocketry Competition
  • SETI Cipher challenge

Course Content



The table below shows the topics covered in each year of the A Level course

First year of A-level

Second year of A-level

  • Measurements and their errors

  • Particles and radiation

  • Waves

  • Mechanics and energy

  • Electricity

  • Further mechanics and thermal physics

  • Fields

  • Nuclear physics

  • Astrophysics


Physics, like all sciences, is a practical subject. Throughout the course you will carry out practical activities including:

  • investigating interference and diffraction of laser light
  • measuring acceleration due to gravity
  • investigating systems that oscillate
  • investigation of the links between temperature, volume and pressure
  • safe use of ionising radiation
  • investigating magnetic fields

These practicals will give you the skills and confidence needed to investigate the way things behave and work.

It will also ensure that if you choose to study a Physics-based subject at university, you’ll have the practical skills

needed to carry out successful experiments in your degree


  • There is no coursework on this course. However, your performance during practicals will be assessed.
  • There are three exams at the end of the two years for A-level, all of which are two hours long.
  • At least 15% of the marks for A-level Physics are based on what you learned in your practicals.
  • The AS has two exams at the end of the year. Both are 1 hour 30 minutes long.

Paper 1

Paper 2

Paper 3

Sections 1 to 5 and 6.1 (Periodic motion)

Sections 6.2 (Thermal Physics), 7 and 8

Assumed knowledge from sections 1 to 6.1

Section A Compulsory section:

Practical skills and data analysis

Section B: Optional unit

Written exam: 2 hours

85 marks

34% of A-level

Written exam: 2 hours

85 marks

34% of A-level

Written exam: 2 hours

80 marks

32% of A-level

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

45 marks of short and long answer

questions on practical experiments

and data analysis.

35 marks of short and long answer

questions on optional topic.


Where could this course lead to?


Physicists explore the fundamental nature of almost everything we know of. They probe the furthest reaches of

the earth to study the smallest pieces of matter. Join them to enter a world deep beneath the surface of normal

human experience.

Possible degree options

According to bestcourse4me.com, the top 7 degree courses taken by students who have an A-level in Physics are:

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Civil Engineering
  • Economics
  • Business

Possible career options

Studying A-level Physics offers an infinite number of amazing career opportunities including but not limited to:

  • Geophysicist/field seismologist
  • Healthcare scientist, medical physics
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Radiation protection practitioner
  • Research scientist (physical sciences)
  • Scientific laboratory technician
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Meteorologist
  • Structural engineer
  • Acoustic engineer
  • Product/process development scientist
  • Systems developer
  • Technical author

You can also move into engineering, astrophysics, chemical physics, nanotechnology, renewable energy and more; the opportunities are endless.