Physics A Level


Physics is the study of matter and energy, from inside an atom to beyond galaxies, looking for the basic rules on which all Science depends. Students will see Physics at work in a range of situations, from Music and Medicine to Communication and Cosmology, following the Salters Horners context-led approach to Physics.

What goes well with this course?

Maths and Chemistry are the traditional partner subjects, but in fact Physics can be successfully combined with Biology, Computing, Music, Music Technology and Philosophy. We also welcome students taking less common subject combinations who have the courage to think independently.


Physics affects many different areas of modern life and Physics graduates are in high demand. They have a wide range of career pathways open to them, including:

  • Research and Development
  • Engineering
  • Technical Management
  • The City and financial institutions
  • Computing and Software Design
  • Energy or the Health Service
  • Media, Marketing, and Teaching
  • Education

Course Content

The teaching units in this context-led course cover all the “core Physics” from more traditional courses, but are based around more modern applications. Topics include:

Year One:

  • Sports Performance
  • Playing and Recording Music
  • Materials e.g. food products
  • Powering a Satellite
  • Physics in Archaeology
  • Medical uses of Physics

Year Two:

  • Rail transport
  • Communications
  • Particle Physics
  • Earthquakes and Building Design
  • Astrophysics

In preparation for the first year of this course, please take a look at our Starting with Confidence leaflet, which will give you a head start when you begin the course in September.

Educational Experiences

Course Specific Trips, Visits & Experiences

Physics students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related experiences. In recent years, these have included:

  • A visit to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. The visit reinforced the final A Level teaching unit which is based on Astrophysics. The visit also aimed to introduce wider aspects of the subject beyond the confines of the syllabus and was also of interest to students considering taking Physics, Mathematics or a related course at university
  • A Christmas lecture at Surrey University. Past topics have included Robotic Technology and Aerodynamics
  • The opportunity to take part in the national Physics Olympiad

In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s:

Activities Programme and Guest Speaker Programme.


This course is assessed through written examinations. The course also includes a series of compulsory Core Practicals and the exams will test students' knowledge and understanding of these experiments. On completion of the two year course, students receive a Teacher Assessment of Competence in practical work, which will be required for some university courses.

The exam board for Physics is Pearson Edexcel.

Entry Requirements

All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme. 

In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirements:  

  • Grade 6 in Maths (Higher Tier) and either 6 in Physics or 6,6 in Combined Science

Students will enjoy this course and be successful if they:

  • Have wide interests (it’s a big subject!)
  • Have a can-do attitude and aren't put off by set-backs
  • Like Mathematics and logical reasoning
  • Always want to know WHY
  • Enjoy science shown on TV and YouTube

Physics students should enjoy and be good at problem-solving and working with other people. They should be able to calculate with large and small numbers, deal with simple algebra, and use diagrams and other graphics to explain their ideas.

How to Apply

Applications for entry September 2019

The application form for the academic year 2019-2020 is available to download here.

Students from non-partner schools must return their forms directly to Reigate College, NOT their schools. All applications will be considered according the College's Admissions Policy.

Students from partner schools (Reigate, Warwick, de Stafford and Oakwood) should return their completed Partner Schools Application Form to their school. 

The initial cut-off date for applications for entry September 2019 is 1st November 2018. A student's chances of obtaining a place are higher, the earlier the application is made. Students who apply after 1st November 2018 will be placed on a waiting list.

Please see the Admissions timetable for information about the College’s enrolment process.

Download Course Leaflet

Download the Physics A Level  information leaflet.

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