Holy Cross College

35 Melmount Road, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, BT82 9EF

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Physics

Mission Statement

Physics is crucial to understanding the world around us, the world inside us, and the world beyond us. It is the most basic and fundamental science. 

Physics challenges our imaginations with concepts like relativity and string theory, and it leads to great discoveries, like computers and lasers, that lead to technologies which change our lives—from healing joints, to curing cancer, to developing sustainable energy solutions.  Physics encompasses the study of the universe from the largest galaxies to the smallest subatomic particles.  Moreover, it’s the basis of many other sciences, including chemistry, oceanography, seismology, and astronomy.

The Physics Team

Subject Co-ordinator

Mr Joseph O'Brien

A Level Subject Teachers

Mr Martin McCauley

Dr Carlos Triguero

Key features of the CCEA A-Level Physics Specification

  • Free-standing AS course including a study of contemporary applications of Physics.

  • A2 course emphasising modern developments through a study of Particle Physics.

  • Experimental and investigative skills assessed through externally- examined units.

  • Many opportunities for IT demonstrations and simulations.

  • Extensive opportunities for developing evidence for assessment of Key Skills.

Course overview

A-Level Physics will be offered as a modular course from the CCEA examinations board. This specification adopts a modular structure and candidates are required to study three modules for the AS course and a further three for the A2 qualification. These modules will be a mixture of externally examined units and practical work. All exams both Practical and written will be externally assessed by the exam board – CCEA. AS modules will be assessed in May of Year 13 and A2 modules will be assessed in June of Year 14.

 

The course is made up of six modules:

The AS modules will account for 40% of the A-Level grade

The A2 modules will account for 60% of the A-Level grade

 

Three modules will be studied in Year 13 at AS-Level:

AS 1: Forces, Energy and Electricity

1 3/4 hour written exam

40% of AS

(16% of A-Level)

AS 2: Waves, Photons and Astronomy

1 3/4 hour written exam

40% of AS

(16% of A Level)

AS 3: Practical Assessment: Practical Techniques and Data Analysis

A: 1 hour Practical task

B: 1 hour written exam

20% of AS

(8% of A-Level)

With another three modules studied in Year 14 for the A2 qualification:

A2 1: Deformation of Solids, Thermal Physics, Circular Motion, Oscillations and Atomic and Nuclear Physics

2 hour written exam

24% of A Level

A2 2: Field, Capacitors and Particle Physics

2 hour written exam

24% of A-Level

A2 3: Practical Assessment: Practical Techniques and Data Analysis

A: 1 hour Practical task

B: 1 hour written exam

12% of A Level

Entry Requirements

It is expected that pupils wishing to study AS Physics have achieved a minimum of a grade BB at GCSE Double Award Science.

A high level of competency in Maths is also essential, therefore we would strongly recommend that pupils taking A-level Physics also study A-level Maths. At a minimum we would recommend high achievement at GCSE Maths to ensure sufficient mathematical competency for Physics A-Level.

Career Opportunities

When you study Physics you open up your choice of careers. It is essential for a number of degree courses including engineering, (civil, electronic, electrical, mechanical, chemical and aeronautical) It is also useful for a great many others such as Architecture, Optometry, Medicine and Dentistry. Though many Physics graduates go on to work in academic research and teaching, the main areas of employment are in industry particularly in the research and development sectors of ‘high-tech’ industry. Good examples are industries concerned with optoelectronics, computing and telecommunications. The list of major employers of Physics graduates includes most of the large British and multi-national companies and a host of smaller ones. Physics is also relevant to those areas of commerce and branches of the public service where problem solving and practical skills are valued.