KS5 GCE Physics

What will I learn?

OCR’s Physics B specification has been designed so students study physics within the distinctive ‘Advancing Physics’ context-based approach.

The A level specification is split into six modules:

Module 1 – Development of practical skills in physics
1.1 Practical skills assessed in a written examination
1.2 Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement
Module 2 – Fundamental data analysis
Module 3 – Physics in action
3.1.1 Imaging and signalling
3.1.2 Sensing
3.2 Mechanical properties of materials
Module 4 – Understanding processes
4.1 Waves and quantum behaviour
4.2 Space, time and motion
Module 5 – Rise  and fall of the clockwork universe
5.1.1 Creating models
5.1.2 Out into space
5.1.3 Our place in the universe
5.2.1 Matter: very simple
5.2.2 Matter: hot or cold
Module 6 – Field and particle physics
6.1.1 Electromagnetism
6.1.2 Charge and field
6.2.1 Probing deep into matter
6.2.2 Ionising radiation and risk.

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How will I be assessed?

Paper 1 assesses content from Modules 1, 2, 3 and 5.
Paper 2 assesses content from Modules 1, 2, 4 and 6.
Paper 3 assesses content from Modules 1 to 6.

Practical endorsement.

Paper 1: Modelling physics is a 135 minute paper; is worth 37% and comprises two sections. Section
A is a 15 mark multiple choice paper and Section B is an 85 mark paper composed of structured

Paper 2: Exploring physics is a 135 minute paper; is worth 37% and comprises two sections. Section
A is a 15 mark multiple choice paper and Section B is an 85 mark paper composed of structured

Paper 3: Unified physics is a 90 minute paper; is worth 26% and is a single 70 mark paper.

What are the entry requirements?

  • English GCSE at grade 5 or above (preferred).
  • Maths GCSE at grade 7 or above.
  • Combined Science GCSE or Physics GCSE at grade 6 or above.
  • For students who have taken BTEC level 2 courses, a DISTINCTION is required as well as a grade B inEnglish and Maths.

What are the costs?

It is advised that you purchase a text book and/or revision guide, we will offer deals on the suggested book.  A scientific calculator and a Geometry set is essential (if you do not already own one).

Is there anything else I need to know?

Most of the work is structured into study packs that will be available through Google Docs. Extensive use is made of ICT including the internet, PowerPoint, video clips, spread sheeting, flash animations and java applets.

Other subjects that would go well with Physics GCE are Advanced level Biology, Mathematics and Chemistry. However, other combinations of subjects including Economics, Geology or Geography are also suitable. Students who are concentrating on Arts, Humanities or Modern Language subjects may wish to take Physics to broaden their studies by continuing to take a Science subject.

The demands of the course

Year 12 and 13 is a halfway house between school and university. Students will be responsible for their own learning. Teachers are there to help students learn how to learn. It is intended that Year 12 will be a continuation of GCSE Physics although new mathematical methods are introduced at this level, and students should be prepared to use extensive mathematics to solve a variety of physics problems. Year 13 can be more demanding.

Almost all students find the Physics course a challenge. Due to the rigorous nature of the course, homework is set and checked regularly.

Future opportunities

With a qualification in Physics you could go to University to study Physics or Engineering. Physics is highly regarded and is also an extremely important part of many careers, including architecture and construction. Because Physics is a numerate and scientific discipline it is also regarded as a badge for many disciplines, giving preferred entry into a variety of fields such as finance, management and medicine. Physics is a shortage subject, meaning that students with these  qualifications are generally in demand.

Course contact:  sally.mcgrath@biddenham.beds.sch.uk

Exam board: OCR Physics B