A Level

Exam Board OCR

Lead Teacher - Mr Maxwell

What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

  • The qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and process skills     inherent in GCSE Science and Mathematics.
  • There is no requirement to have studied GCSE Physics separately; Combined Science provides a good grounding for the study of A-level Physics.
  • The qualification integrates theory and relevant practical work.
  • You will need to be able to communicate effectively, research and think critically and independently about physics problems.
  • There is a significant mathematical element.

Specific requirements

A minimum of 6-6 in combined science or a grade 6 in Physics and a grade 6 in GCSE mathematics.

What will I study?

Content is in six modules:

  • Module 1: Development of practical skills in physics
  • Module 2: Foundations in physics
  • Module 3: Forces and motion
  • Module 4: Electrons, waves and photons
  • Module 5: Newtonian world and astrophysics
  • Module 6: Particles and medical physics

Modules 1 to 4 are covered in Year 12, and modules 5 and 6 are covered in Year 13.      

What is the assessment schedule and weighting (Including NEA or Coursework)?

Paper 1 - Modelling Physics

100 marks, content from modules 1, 2, 3, and 5.

Paper 2 - Exploring Physics

100 marks, content from modules 1, 2, 4, and 6.

Paper 3 - Unifying Physics

70 marks, content from modules 1 to 6.

Practical Endorsement in Physics

Non-exam assessed, completed through practical elements in the course.


All components include synoptic assessment.

Students must complete all components (01, 02, 03, and 04) to be awarded the OCR A Level in Physics A.

Students gain practical skills throughout the course. These are assessed in the written examinations and in the practical endorsement (component 04). Activities that could count towards the practical endorsement are indicated in the specification.

Where does it lead?

Physics is a subject that opens doors to all areas of academic study: from research and engineering to food technology and weather systems. Students who have studied physics develop a highly analytical and numeric approach to new situations, and are sought after across all career sectors, especially: finance; business; communications technology and project management. No matter which paths you choose to follow, the skills you learn in this course will have applications.

Wider Reading

Books:  Professor Brian Cox (Why Does E=MC2, Forces of Nature) Professor Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time).

Podcasts: The Infinite Monkey Cage, 


TV shows: Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Cosmos, or Carl Sagan's original Cosmos, tv series such as How It's Made or Megastructures, and YouTube channels like Smarter Every Day.