A Level Physics AQA (7408)

Examining Board: AQA
Next Examination Period: May / June 2020
Exam Specification Code: 7408 (2016 Specification) 
Coursework Element: No
Practical Element: Yes
Selected Optional Module for Unit 3:  Astrophysics
Fast Track Option: Fast Track A Level Physics

AQA A Levels are available for study anywhere in the world. Examinations must be taken in a registered UK exam centre. It is recommended students check with UK examining centres that the chosen exam is available.

Introduction

Physics is a fascinating and vital subject that describes the natural behaviour and properties of matter through time and space. It is all around us – electricity, the universe, gravity, acceleration. This course will allow the student a glimpse into the world of physics and a broader understanding of the interactions of the world around them.

Entry Requirements

Although the A Level Physics programmes build on the course content of GCSE, it is not necessary to have this qualification before undertaking an A-Level. However, in order to meet the demands of the course, it is recommended that candidates have literacy and communication skills equivalent to C or higher at GCSE. Please note that full tutor support is still provided throughout your course duration.

All students must be 16 years of age or above.

A Level Physics Course Duration

2 years.

Study Hours Required

Approximately 350 hours.

Awarding Body

AQA

AQA A Levels are available for study anywhere in the world. Examinations must be taken in a registered UK exam centre. It is recommended students check with UK examining centres that the chosen exam is available.

Examination Information

Students are required to arrange and pay for their A Level Physics examinations and manage the course work element if the subject requires this. Students must check the relevant examination board website for further information and final examination sitting dates for the specification.

All examinations are held during the May / June exam period of every year.

Course Content

The full A-Level consists of 3 units of content:

A Level Physics Unit 1 Core Content

1 Measurements and their errors
2 Particles and radiation
3 Waves

This first unit starts the course by covering some basic general concepts that you will take with you and develop through your studies. The first topic is concerned with measurements and the correct use of SI units. We also introduce the concept of error in any given measurement and discover how to calculate this property. We then look at the atom and discover atomic models and the makeup of atoms, and how different forms of radiation are the result of different particle behaviour. Finally, we look at waves including the different types of wave, their properties and how they behave.

 

A Level Physics Unit 2 Core content

4 Mechanics and materials
5 Electricity

The second unit consists of more core content and is focused on the transference of energy, forces and momentum and how these three are intrinsically linked. We look and scalars and vectors and different types of motion and the forces and calculations involved with these. The electricity section introduces the basics of electricity, current and voltage, before building on this to describe resistivity, current-voltage characteristics and the different components of a circuit.

 

A Level Physics Unit 3 Core Content and Options

6 – Further mechanics and thermal physics
7  – Fields and their consequences
8 – Nuclear physics

The core content of unit 3 builds on the earlier mechanics content and introduces new types of motion including periodic, circular and simple harmonic motion. Thermal physics introduces the intricacies behind the transferal of energy between different substances, ideal gases and the model of molecular kinetic theory relating to Brownian motion. We then take a look at the different types of field and develop the ideas of gravitational, electrostatic and magnetic fields as unifying concepts throughout physics. We look at these fields in context considering planets, capacitors and electromagnetic induction. The unit’s core content finishes by looking at radioactivity; the different types of radiation, radioactive decay and Rutherford’s “scattering” model.

Options:

9 Astrophysics
10 Medical physics
11 Engineering physics
12 Turning points in physics
13 Electronics

Unit 3 finishes with a number of optional modules that look at physics in a more contextual way. Examples include how physics is applied in the study of the universe in the production and application of telescopes. There is also the option to look at medical physics; including the physics of sight and hearing as well as medical instrumentation. When students are entered for the unit 3 paper, one of these options is selected for examination.

Please Note: When studying the AQA A Level in Physics with Oxford Learning College, the selected option will be Astrophysics.

Assessment

For the full A-Level Physics you will sit three exam papers:

Paper 1

A Level Physics Content examined
Sections 1 to 5 and 6.1 (Periodic motion)

Exam details
Written exam: 2 hours
85 marks
34% of A-level

Questions
60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content

Paper 2

A Level Physics Content examined
Sections 6.2 (Thermal Physics), 7 and 8
Assumed knowledge from sections 1 to 6.1

Exam Details
Written exam: 2 hours
85 marks
34% of A-level

Questions
60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

Paper 3

A Level Physics Content examined
Section A: Compulsory section: Practical skills and data analysis
Section B: Students enter for one of sections 9, 10, 11, 12 or 13

Exam Details
Written exam: 2 hours
80 marks
32% of A-level

Questions
45 marks of short and long answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis.
35 marks of short and long answer questions on optional topic.

Qualification

The title of this qualification as will appear on certificates is the AQA A-Level Physics (7408)
All the exams must be taken and passed to achieve the full A-Level qualification The AS-level title as will appear on certificates is the AQA AS Physics (Specification number: 7408)
The AQA AS and A-Level are linear courses, which means that you will sit your exams at the end of your AS course (for AS students) or at the end of the full A-Level course (For full A-Level students)

Further Reading

CGP Revision Guide – New A-Level Physics: AQA Year 1 & AS Complete Revision & Practice with Online Edition – 978 1 78294 292 4. AS LEVEL & A-LEVEL

CGP Revision Guide – New A-Level Physics: AQA Year 2 Complete Revision & Practice with Online Edition– 978 1 78294 343 3 FULL A-LEVEL ONLY

Kelly – AQA A Level Physics Year 1 & AS Student Book – 978-0007590223 – Publisher: Collins AS LEVEL & A-LEVEL

Pharaoh & Bishop – AQA A-Level Physics Year 2 Student Book – 978-0007597642– Publisher: Collins FULL A-LEVEL ONLY

 

Progression

Our A Level Physics programmes are eligible for UCAS points, making them a great choice for students aiming to progress to University. UCAS points are awarded according to the grade earned, please see below for details.

A levels are also widely recognised by employers and are useful for students looking to progress their careers or meet requirements for promotion.

UCAS Points Table

A* = 56
A = 48
B = 40
C = 32
D = 24
E = 16

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