Course aims

This course will provide you with knowledge and understanding of facts, principles and concepts from different areas of physics that are applied to real life situations.

Entry requirements

You will require two 6 grades in double award or triple with a 6 in physics, plus grade 6 in mathematics, in addition to the general entry requirements. Anyone not studying mathematics at A level must have a grade 7 or above in GCSE mathematics.

Course content

Unit 1 – Particles, quantum phenomena and electricity

Topics include:

  • Particles and radiation (atom, stable and unstable nuclei, classification of particles and their antiparticles, photons and particle interactions particles)
  • Electromagnetic radiation and quantum phenomena (photoelectric effect, collisions of electrons with atoms, energy levels and photo-emission, wave-particle duality)
  • Electricity (charge, current, potential difference, resistivity, direct current circuits, alternating currents and use of oscilloscopes).

Unit 2 – Mechanics, waves and materials

Topics include:

  • Mechanical (scalars and vectors, moments, motion in a straight line, projectile motion, Newton’s laws of motion, work energy and power and momentum)
  • Waves (types of waves, refraction, superposition of waves, stationary, interference and diffraction)
  • Materials (density, stress and strain, Hooke’s Law and Young’s Modulus).

Unit 3 – Fields and further mechanics

Topics include:

  • Further mechanics (momentum, circular motion, simple harmonic systems, forced vibrations and resonance)
  • Fields (gravitational, electric and magnetic).

Unit 4 – Nuclear and thermal physics

Topics include:

  • Thermal physics (specific heat, ideal gas laws, internal energy and kinetic theory)
  • Nuclear physics (radioactivity, nuclear instability, mass and energy, fusion and fission)
  • Plus option from astrophysics, medical physics, applied physics, turning points in physics. A close reading of a specific philosophical text that incorporates all of the foregoing concepts and ideas.

Course assessment

Written examinations. Learners will additionally complete the practical endorsement, which does not contribute to their overall grade and is pass/fail.


Dudley Sixth will loan the required textbooks, but a scientific calculator is required.


Higher Education or employment. Medicine, environmental science, physics, engineering (mechanical and electrical).