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Reasons to study this course

  • Physics leads the advancement of technology from quantum computing to the drive for a carbon neutral society.
  • It seeks to answer fundamental questions such as the origin of the universe and the ultimate fate of stars, to interactions of subatomic particles, unleashing the mathematical beauty of the universe.
  • Physicists work in diverse careers from designing electrical vehicles to proton-beam therapy in hospitals, and developing the technology behind the touch-screen on the smartphones which we all use everyday.

What you will need to study this course

  • minimum grade 5 in GCSE Science and 5 in English Language
  • minimum grade 6 in GCSE Maths
  • AS Maths is strongly recommended and essential to progress to the full A-Level Physics

What you will study

We follow the AQA specification including topics in forces and motion, electricity, waves, particles and radiation.  In second year students further these topics with the study of fields and thermal physics and explore the universe through astrophysics.

How you will be assessed

Year 1 (AS) – two 1.5 hour exams

Year 2 (A-Level) – three 2 hour exams

Both qualifications involve practical work throughout which is assessed as part of the end of course written exam papers.

Priestley Extra

Masterclasses at Daresbury and a residential visit to CERN in Geneva are just some of the annual trips on offer.  Students compete in the fun team challenge of the Physics Olympics at Liverpool University and the prestigious British Physics Olympiad.  Aspiring engineers get the chance to work on a real world problem with professionals from a local company (previous link companies have included Sellafield and United Utilities) and present their solution to a panel of judges.


The majority of our students progress to university, taking degrees in scientific subjects or in Engineering. Others study in areas of Finance, Business and IT. A-Level Physics is valued as a robust and challenging subject and the numerical, practical and problem-solving skills you will develop are prized by employers.

Recommended reading

Choose a popular science book that takes your interest.

Follow a physics YouTuber our favourites are Physics Girl, Veritasium, Physics Online and Science Shorts.

Read an inspirational story we like Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly and Limitless, the autobiography of Tim Peake.

Watch a science related TV show for instance the Chernobyl mini series, Mythbusters or spot the physics errors in Gravity.

Useful websites include

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