A-Level Physics Course at Varndean College

Explaining life, the universe and everything…

What is Physics? Basically, Physics tries to explain how the universe works as simply as possible, but no simpler. From Quarks to Quasars, Physics is all about understanding and predicting nature. Together we will look at how our world (and beyond) behaves and try to make sense of it. You will enjoy Physics if you want to find out about life, the universe and everything; develop models to explain how the world we live in works; sharpen your problem-solving skills and see how physics is used all around us. You will discover that our ideas of how things work have changed over the centuries; scientists are not always ‘right’. A theory only lasts until an experiment proves it wrong! Then we need a new one.

The course will be based on Salters Horners project, which places great emphasis on the practical uses of the subject. You still study all the Physics you would expect, it is just packaged differently and, we think, in a more exciting and enjoyable way.


The amount of sunlight reaching the earth is 6,000 times the energy used by all human beings.

Youtube version




Year 1

  • Atomic and Quantum Physics
  • Particle Physics
  • Physics in Satellites
  • Physics in Orthopaedics
  • Physics in Sports Science
  • Physics in Music
  • Physics in Archaeology

Year 2

  • Astronomy & Telescopes
  • Astrophysics & the Solar System
  • Cosmology
  • Structural engineering & Earthquake-proof Design
  • Physics in Transport System


We also teach International Baccalaureate: Higher & Standard Level Physics.

  • Exploring the nature of science and the development of our understanding of the physical world.
  • Consideration of the way in which scientific understanding is affected by culture and vice versa.
  • Some content similar to AS/A2 but assessed differently. There is still great emphasis on practical applications and their impact on people and the planet.
  • Practical work is assessed continuously and you will also take part in a collaborative project.



A Level, International Baccalaureate


Standard advanced course requirements plus:

For A Level and IB Diploma Standard Level (Note: Applied Science is NOT accepted)

  • Grade B GCSE in Core Science + Grade B GCSE in Additional Science
  • Grade B GCSE in Physics + Grade B GCSE in one other science
  • Grade B GCSE in Maths

(A level students NOT studying A level Maths will need to attend the Maths for Physicists class).

For IB Diploma Higher Level ONLY (Note: Applied Science is NOT accepted)

  • Grade A GCSE in Core Science + Grade A GCSE in Additional Sciences
  • Grade A GCSE in Physics + Grade A GCSE in one other science
  • Grade A GCSE in Maths


Many students go on to degree courses in Physics, Engineering, Financial Management, Law, Medicine and numerous other fields. Physics is an in-demand subject in the UK.


Jason Wye


Students choosing NOT to study AS Maths will need to enrol for the Maths support course. You should be aware, though, that not studying Maths beyond GCSE will prevent you from applying to most Physics and Engineering degrees.

Varndean College, Surrenden Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 6WQ tel: 01273 508011