Physics

AS and A2 LEVEL Physics
Aims of the course
3668 (101)+
This specification is designed to encourage candidates to:

  • progress smoothly from previous GCSE studies in physics
  • develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of the principles of physics
  • gain hands-on practical skills and data analysis skills
  • appreciate how science works and its relevance beyond the laboratory
  • see how physics links to other sciences and how the subject underpins important technologies
  • study optional topics so they can specialise in topics that generate interest.

Course Structure
AS Outline
At AS, this specification introduces new topics as well as building on previous studies in physics. The two AS theory units provide alternative starting points for the AS course:

  • Unit 1: Particles, Quantum Phenomena and Electricity
  • Unit 2: Mechanics, Materials and Waves
  • Unit 3: Investigative and Practical Skills.

A2 Outline
At A2, this specification builds on AS physics (A) and includes optional topics:

  • Unit 4: Fields and Further Mechanics
  • Unit 5: This unit comprises two sections
      Section A: Nuclear and Thermal Physics
      Section B: Option Units
  • Unit 6: Investigative and Practical Skills.

Assessment of the course
Modules are examined in June. The final qualification is calculated from the sum of the marks from the six units.
Assessed practical work counts for 20% of the final marks. For full breakdown of the course see below.

Course breakdown for GCE AS level physics
AS Examination

Unit 1 – PHYA1 Particles, quantum phenomena and electricity
Examination paper (70 marks/120 UMS), 6 or 7 structured questions
1¼ hours
40% of the total AS marks
20% of the total A Level marks Available January and June

Unit 2 – PHYA2 Mechanics, materials and waves
Written Examination – (70 marks/120 UMS), 6 or 7 structured questions
1¼ hours
40% of the total AS marks
20% of the total A Level marks Available January and June

Unit 3 – PHA3T Investigative and practical skills in AS Physics
Centre Marked Route T – 50 marks
Practical Skills Assignment (PSA – 9 raw marks)
Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA – 41 raw marks)

20% of the total AS marks
10% of the total A Level marks

Course breakdown for GCE A2 physics
A2 Examination

Unit 4 – PHYA4 Fields and further mechanics
Written Examination – (75 marks/120 UMS)
1¾ hours
Section A is 25 multiple choice questions, each worth one mark.
Section B is a written paper of 4/5 structured questions and consists of 50 marks.
20% of the total A Level marks Available January and June

Unit 5 – One of Units PHA5A, PHA5B, PHA5C, PHA5D
Written Examination – (75 marks/120 UMS)
1¾ hours
Section A: Nuclear and Thermal Physics – 40 marks –
Compulsory section 4/5 structured questions
Section B: one of the following options.
Each paper has 4/5 structured questions and 35 marks.
Options:
A – Astrophysics
B – Medical Physics
C – Applied Physics
D – Turning Points in Physics
20% of the total A Level marks (Section A 10%, Section B 10%) Available June only

Unit 6 – PHA6T Investigative and practical skills in A2 Physics
Centre Marked Route T – 50 marks
Practical Skills Assessment (PSA – 9 marks)
Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA – 41 marks)
10% of the total A Level marks

AS + A2 = A Level

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