Examining Board – AQA
On choosing this syllabus we want you to have the opportunity to further your studies in Physics by studying how Physics has an impact on our everyday lives as well as how Physics tries to answer some of the “big questions”. It is suitable for those of you who want to carry on your studies at University in Physics, Engineering, Medicine and a huge array of other subjects, and those of you who have a curiosity about the world/universe about you.
Methods of Study
We want you to come out of this course as independent learners. To achieve this we will split each unit into a number of sub-modules and you will be set a number of tasks that you will undertake through self-study and as part of a team. The tasks will build to form a portfolio that will evidence your learning. The tasks will include practical work, research, homework, case studies, numerical practice, practice examination questions etc. You will be encouraged to present your portfolios using ICT including producing PowerPoint presentations, animations, Podcasts, video presentations etc
Methods of Assessment
Unit 1: Harmony and Structure in the Universe
Explore the Physics behind the production, recording and transmission of music, then discover how the achievements of physicists discovered the tiniest fundamental particles and enable cosmologists to understand the structure of the Universe.
Unit 2: Physics Keeps Us Going
Study the Physics of motion as it affects athletes, sports equipment and vehicles, then focus on the problem of satisfying increasing energy demands and the effect this has on the fate of the planet and future generations.
Unit 4: Physics Inside Out
Investigate the Physics behind the forces that take astronauts into orbit and back and keep white knuckle rides on track, then learn how Physics helps us see inside the Earth and inside medical patients.
Unit 5: Energy under the Microscope
Discover the principles of thermodynamics which underpin engines and the Physics behind the nuclear industry.
Unit 3 (AS) & 6 (A2)
Investigative and Practical Skills
Throughout the course you will undertake many practical investigations which will deepen and extend your subject knowledge while honing your investigative skills for units 3 and 6.
The assessment of these units is through two methods, both of which are assessed by your teacher:
- Practical Skills Assessment (PSA) – an assessment of your practical and collaborative skills
- Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA) – an assessment of your data collection and interpretation skills with an exam testing your understanding of scientific investigation, analysis and evaluation.
A Level Physics is a course which requires intensive learning of abstract concepts and use of mathematics. Grade B in Physics or Additional Science at GCSE would be a real advantage. You will benefit from a good understanding of algebra and the ability to manipulate equations, so a grade B Mathematics at GCSE would also be an advantage. Most of all, a genuine interest in physics and how the world around us works is required.