Physics - A Level only

Exam Board: OCR

Introduction to the Course

Physics is the most fundamental of Sciences. It aims to explore the topics of matter and energy in the world and how they are related. The OCR Physics A specification is designed to develop students interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with Physics. The A Level is now stand alone qualifications which means that students who chose A Level Physics will not sit any exams until the end of year 13.

If you are already interested in the Physics topics in your science studies at GCSE then do consider studying Physics. If you would like to know more about fundamental ideas such as quantum mechanics, relativity and cosmology, then Physics may be for you. If you are good at Maths and if you enjoy finding mathematical solutions to problems, then studying A Level Physics is worth serious consideration.

Entry Requirements

Standard entry requirements including: GCSE Combined Science (at least Grade 6) or GCSE Physics (at least Grade 6). Mathematics (at least Grade 7) is also required. There is a substantial mathematical content involved within Physics A Level. Grade 7 or above is required in two Science GCSEs if taking two Science A Levels.

Course Content

The A Level course is 100% exam and is comprised of 6 modules.

Module 1: Development of practical skills

Module 2: Foundations of Physics

Module 3: Forces and motion

Module 4: Electrons, waves and photons.

Module 5: Newtonian world and astrophysics

Module 6: Particles and medical physics

At the end of year 13 students will sit 3 exams. Paper 1 will be 135 minutes long and will test content from modules 1,2,3 and 5. Paper 2 is also 135 minutes and will test content from modules 1,2,4 and 6. Paper 3 is 90 minutes long and can test content from any module. Papers 1 and 2 will be worth 37% each and paper 3 is worth 26%.

Students will also be given a practical endorsement Grade for Physics. This is separate to the A Level and will not affect the overall Grade. Students will be assessed by the school and will be awarded a pass or fail for this element of the course.


AS 2 x one hour and 30 minute papers

A2 2 x two hour and 15 minute papers and 1 x one hour and 30 minutes paper

Future Career Progression

A good pass in A-level Physics is essential for entry into a degree in all high-technology courses such as electronics, materials science, astronomy and in all forms of engineering.

It is also a requirement for those wishing to pursue a technical career in the Armed Forces and often preferred for studying Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science.

The knowledge and skills acquired during the A-level course provide a sound background for many different non-scientific careers, such as Computing, Accountancy and other financially orientated careers.

Download Course Expectations (PDF).