If you have any further enquiries, please email Mrs Siobhan Tolcher, Head of Physics, at


Why study Physics?

Physics is an exciting subject, seeking to find the hidden laws behind physical phenomena. It has been developed by some of humanity’s greatest minds, such as Einstein and Newton, and has seen brilliant breakthroughs even in the last few years.

Why study Physics at Salesian College?

Physics is one of the most popular A Level subjects at Salesian College, and we achieve excellent results. You will be taught by subject specialists in a good-humoured and supportive environment.

You will have the opportunity to participate in a residential trip to visit the Large Hadron Collider in CERN. Other activities an engineering focused trip to Thorpe Park, and experiencing lectures and laboratory workshops at local universities.

We are proud of our supportive programme in preparation for university applications, including mock interviews with local university lecturers, regular guidance meetings and support with writing your personal statement.

What does A Level Physics involve?

You will study a range of topics from the very small (inside the atom) to the very large (the formation and history of the universe). Some topics follow on seamlessly from GCSE, such as electricity, magnetism, radioactivity and Newton’s laws. You will also study new topics such as quantum mechanics, capacitance, material engineering and thermodynamics. In your A Level Physics studies, you will gain knowledge and understanding through a range of methods, including practical work, computing simulations, demonstrations and problem solving.

How will I be assessed?

We follow the 2015 Edexcel A Level Physics course. Additionally, Physics is a practical subject and you will spend a considerable portion of your time conducting your own experiments. A successful Physicist must be able to draw conclusions from experimental results as well as learning from established theory. By completing a number of required practicals throughout the two years, you will earn a practical skills accreditation.

What skills and qualifications do I need to study Physics?

It is recommended that you have gained at least a grade 6 in GCSE Physics (combined or triple science), and a grade 6 in GCSE Maths. Physics by its nature has substantial mathematical content. You must be prepared to develop your analytical and problem-solving skills. We highly recommend that you therefore study A Level Maths as well as A Level Physics. Students who do not take Maths find A Level Physics quite challenging.

In common with all subjects at A Level, there is a significant leap in intellectual demand and expectations made as you progress from GCSE to A Level. You will succeed if you are prepared to work consistently and collaboratively throughout the A Level course.

What are the next steps after A Level Physics?

Physics is a very useful A Level for a broad range of STEM careers, including in industry, transport, government, the armed forces, games companies, research labs and more. Physics will support degree courses in Physics, Engineering, Computing Mathematics, Architecture and Medicine, amongst others. Studying Physics opens doors, because Physicists are involved in finding solutions to many of our most pressing global challenges.