Exam Board

Additional Entry Requirements

Grades 7+6 in GCSE science combined trilogy OR grade 7 physics + 6 biology + 6 chemistry. Grade 7 in GCSE mathematics. Grade 5 in GCSE English language.
BTEC science is not a suitable entry qualification for this course.

Course Content

Why physics?
Physics at A level is a subject for the curious, for those who ask the deepest questions about the universe but who also want to know about the workings of the physical world in everyday life.You’ll develop the ability to plan, implement, analyse and evaluate practical exercises. You’ll learn strategies for successful problem solving, and gain an understanding of the use of IT for analysis of results using Excel, data gathering and research. You’ll also become skilled at communicating difficult concepts clearly.
The course is essential for students who wish to go on to study engineering as well as physics and prepares you for a wide range of other related degrees such as architecture, natural sciences, maths and medicine. Our students often gain entry to Russell Group universities including Oxbridge and Imperial.
Course content
The course covers a complete A level grounding in the fundamentals of the subject.
In the first year, you’ll cover familiar areas in more depth: mechanics, materials, electricity and waves, and exciting new topics: particles, quantum phenomena and material science.
In year two, you’ll be introduced to topics including fields and nuclear physics, and choose from options such as astrophysics, electronics, medical physics, and engineering physics. The practical skills relating to how science works are integrated throughout the two years.
Recent trips include visits to the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva and Astrium, an aerospace manufacturer. We often offer a number of enrichment activities such as research projects with universities and physics-related clubs. We also enter students for the British Physics Olympiad.
Mark scheme
Exam - 2 hours - 34%
Short and long answer questions, and 25 multiple choice questions
First year content and periodic motion - 60 marks
Exam - 2 hours - 34%
Short and long answer questions, and 25 multiple choice questions
Thermal physics, fields and nuclear physics. A knowledge of first year work and periodic motion is also assumed - 60 marks
Exam - 2 hours - 32%
Short and long answer questions
  • Practical skills and data analysis - 45 marks
  • An optional topic from: astrophysics, electronics, medical physics, engineering physics and turning points in physics - 35 marks

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the headings below.

How much maths is there and do I need to take maths A level to study A level physics?

The maths content is set by all exam boards to be 40% of the course. You are not required to take A level maths although it does help with your understanding and it is required should you apply for a physics related course at university.

How big are your classes?

Approximately 22 students per group

How much homework is there?

Students are expected to do a minimum of 5 hours work a week outside of lessons. This includes one major piece of homework every week and independent consolidation work such as problem-solving practice, reading ahead.

How is practical work assessed?

This is assessed continually throughout the year and the theory of practical work is tested in the exam papers. Students are required to keep an up to date lab book to show the development of lab skills through the practicals they do. A certificate of endorsement is awarded at the end of the A level course.

Does it help if I take Further Maths?

It will help but again is not required. It may also help in the first term of a physics related university course.

How much support is there?

There is a 60 minute drop-in tutorial once a week and peer mentoring is arranged between upper and lower-sixth students. Booster classes are also run as the exams get closer. Teachers are also very generous with their time when not teaching and are often available when free. For students applying to Oxbridge we run tutorials to help them prepare for the entrance exams and give mock interviews for all physics related applications, including engineering.

What do your students go on to do?

Engineering, (mechanical, civil, aeronautical, electrical, chemical), physics, astrophysics, maths, architecture, chemistry and degree apprenticeships at Oxbridge, Russell Group and 1994 Group universities.

What sort of enrichment activities do you run?

We run a number of visits throughout the year including a popular 2 day trip to the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.
Other visits in recent years have included British Aerospace, BMW Mini, Cambridge and Oxford universities and Imperial College’s physics dept.
Every year we also attend a day of physics related lectures in London.
There is also the opportunity to enter the British Physics Olympiad.
Over the last 3 years we have taken part in a research project with Queen Mary, University of London that used Python coding to search for exoplanets in data from NASA’s Kepler satellite.
Last year there was a popular Engineering club run by two upper-sixth students.
Ashmole Academy
"I enjoy working with my classmates to solve physics problems. I plan to study physics at university - I don't have a definitive career plan but I would like to go into something physics based.
I wanted a change of environment and Woodhouse looked like a more mature, academically focused school. I like the atmosphere. It has a good balance of academic challenge and fun. Every teacher is approachable and they are all very helpful.
At first I wasn't keen on the idea of going to Woodhouse but I do not regret moving here at all. It was the best decision I could have made. It is a great place for not only lessons but independent work and sports. The campus is very nice and allows us to have a great experience at college every day."

Related News
UCAS - looking further afield
Students enjoy residential university trips to Bath and Brighton
22 June 2023
Investigating the behaviour of muons
Physics students present research at 'Cosmic Con 23’ conference
25 April 2023
Back to CERN - to see ALICE...
Physics students make a welcome return to international trips with a visit to Geneva
9 November 2022
Ofsted 2022: Woodhouse College - Outstanding
Latest Ofsted report shows Woodhouse continues to be 'Outstanding' through 25 years of inspection...
20 July 2022
Student Reuben offered place at Sandhurst
Woodhouse engineering student Reuben has won a British Army Officer Scholarship
26 October 2021
Lord Robert Winston talks... The science of life
Speaker's Corner returns to Woodhouse with the renowned professor
5 October 2021