Entry Requirements

Click the button to read our faculty brochure or read more about the course below:

  • Six GCSEs 9-4 (or A*-C)
  • Two from English, Maths OR Science
  • Two at least grade 6

Course specific requirements: GCSE Maths (higher tier) grade 9-6 WITH EITHER GCSE Physics grade 9-6 OR GCSE Combined Science grades 9,9-6,6

*To choose more than one subject from Maths, Biology, Chemistry or Physics: (minimum of a grade 7 and 6 in the chosen subjects and one other grade 6 in science/maths).

What is physics?

A Level Physics is an exciting and important course which can offer you huge opportunities for your future. Discover how a Formula One car turns a corner and why the Earth orbits the Sun. Learn what’s inside a proton and how a nuclear reactor works. Learn how an engineer designs a bridge and a quantum physicist can make light act like a particle. Physics will inspire you to see the world around you in a totally new way.

Paper 1: Mechanics, Materials, Electricity, Waves, Particle Physics and Quantum Physics, Circular Motion, Pendulums

Paper 2: Gravitational Fields and Satellites,Electric Fields and Capacitors, Magnetic Fields, Radioactivity and Nuclear Power, and Thermal Physics

Paper 3: Practical Skills and Engineering


An A-level in Physics shows you are confident with both problem solving and scientific thinking, and are good at working with numbers. Physics will challenge you to think about the world you live in and explain why and how things happen.


Well over 75% of physics students progressed to university, with 60% progressing to a Russell Group university and 4 students going to Oxford or Cambridge. The vast majority of students pursued a science or engineering based course such as Mechanical Engineering or Aeronautical Engineering, with some as varied as Robotics or Aviation Technology.

What makes loreto’s physics department unique?

  • Physics at Loreto is taught by very experienced and highly qualified A level teachers in modern, well equipped laboratories.
  • Students studying physics have many opportunities to visit universities, attend master classes and other lectures, and take part in a variety of visits and activities relating to physics, engineering and medical related fields eg IOP lectures, Manchester Lit & Phil lectures.
  • Students can also take part in various competitions relating to physics, engineering and medicine, including the British Physics Olympiad and institute of physics young person’s lecture competition.
  • . A wide range of physics and engineering related events have been organised both at college and in local venues Students have the opportunity to attend a wide variety of trips and physics taster days at Russell group universities to discover cutting edge physics research. In previous years, students have visited CERN in Geneva. We are always looking for exciting opportunities to explore physics worldwide.


What will I study?

In Physics you’ll study topics you may be familiar with, such as Mechanics, Materials and Waves, but in more detail and more focus on the maths behind them. You’ll also study new topics such as Particle Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Radioactivity, Gravitational Fields, Astronomy and Engineering.

Which exam board do you follow?

We cover the AQA Physics A-Level specification. You will sit three exams at the end of your second year, two on physics content, and the third on practical skills, and the option of either Engineering or Astronomy. You will also complete the CPAC Practical Endorsement, which shows that you are competent in a range of practical skills.

What support is there if I am struggling?

Our teachers are always here to help and can arrange a one to one appointment to support you. We run extra support sessions once a week alongside lessons and also offer a lunchtime drop-in session for each year group.

I’d like to apply to a top university, what extra support do you offer?

We offer extra sessions to stretch and challenge high achieving students and to help prepare for further study.

I am worried that I’m not taking triple science. Will it matter?

This doesn’t matter at all; we have lots of students every year who have taken two science GCSEs and it is not a disadvantage.

What are the average class sizes, and what are the classrooms like?

Each year we have around 300 physics students, organised into classes of around 20. We have two modern laboratories with a full range of physics equipment.

What extra opportunities are there?

Students take the British Physics Olympiad competitions, with several receiving certificates last year. In 2019, students also took part in the Institute of Physics Poster competition, attended IoP Manchester monthly lectures at Manchester Metropolitan University, attended the Medical Physics evening at the Christie Hospital, and we run weekly sessions to push students towards
A* grades with challenging questions.

What trips do you offer?

Each year we take 30 students to visit the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, and to visit an experimental fusion reactor in Lausanne, Switzerland. Also offered last year were a trip to Jodrell Bank to learn about binary stars, an engineering careers event at Siemens and a trip to the particle accelerator at Daresbury. These trips are reviewed each year.