A future less ordinary



Our Subject

What are the scientists studying tiny sub-atomic particles at CERN trying to find out? How do we decide where to put satellites? What is the best way to provide energy in the future? Why do hot air balloons float? And why is the sky blue?  If any of these questions make you think, “Hmm, I’d like to know that”, then A-Level Physics is your chance to find out. You’ll use your maths skills and scientific reasoning to understand how the universe works, from the smallest particles imaginable to the vastness of space. You’ll be building your skills of explaining these along with your ability to accurately take measurements through our weekly practical sessions that include use of data-logging equipment and simulation software packages. All of this makes A-level Physics a busy and demanding choice but with around 20 Physics students in each class, your teachers will guide your progress and can give everyone the support and attention required by this worthwhile and exciting subject. Together with the good organisation and strong work ethic that we will help you to develop outside lessons, this will let you confidently expect good grades… last year over 50% of our students achieved A*, A or B grades at A-level, for example.

To study Physics at Bilborough, you will need to have good grades in GCSE Maths and Science, (level 5 or B grade or above, both double science and triple science is acceptable)

BTEC Science Level 2 is not sufficient, but please consider our BTEC Science Level 3 courses.

Our links with HE

A-Level Physics is both interesting and useful for helping you understand everyday phenomena and technology. It’s certainly a demanding course – we’ve designed it so you improve your thinking skills throughout – and this makes it highly regarded by universities and many employers. Nationally, there are too few students taking Physics A-level and progressing on to related degrees, so many universities and employers offer bursaries, sponsorship or enhanced salaries. Our students often go on to study Engineering, Physics, Mathematics and or Computing, Music Technologies and Medicine; we also know that those who choose to become lawyers, accountants or teachers find their Physics A-level a real boost to their applications.

We have strong links with many university departments, particularly the Physics and Engineering faculties at the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University. You will have chances, both in Year 12 and 13, to find out more about the university experience, through master classes or the residential courses offered by many top universities… check the Headstart courses which we regularly have students attending.

Course Structure

We follow the AQA syllabus 7408 which we have chosen as it offers the best exam structure to reward the understanding you will have developed.  In the first year (AS), we start by looking at some important wave effects. We’ll also study Newton’s laws of motion and force; kinetic and potential energy; turning forces and equilibrium; wave motion and wave effects; the physics of materials when stretched, and the refraction of light. You will undergo a short revision programme before the Christmas break, preparing you for a mock exam in January. In the spring term we’ll explore the nature and behaviour of light; electrons and their interaction with light; sub-atomic particles and the rules of the universe; electron flow and energy transfer; electric circuits and their measurement. There will be a full revision programme to prepare you for exams in May / June.

In the second year we will look at oscillations; gravitational fields and orbits; capacitors; electrical, magnetic fields and induction; radioactivity and nuclear power; gases and thermal physics; rotational mechanics and thermodynamics. There will be a revision programme at the end designed to enable you to show your potential to its best in the final exams, upon which the A-level grade is based.


“I have loved the course here. The teachers are amazing and really supportive”.
– Student who went on to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Birmingham

“This course is really well run and enjoyable with lovely teaching staff”.
– Student who is applying for an apprenticeship with Rolls-Royce’s aero engines division

“After lessons it’s really worth looking over what you did and making sure you understand. There’s lots of homework – that’s good … right?”
– Student who is now studying Biomedical Science at Nottingham Trent University

“They made us work hard but also got us to see how much we could achieve”.
– Chris, now a lecturer in Engineering at the University of Nottingham

“When I started Bilborough I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, yet now Physics is my life’s work I’m very happy I went there to be so inspired”.
– Ed, now taking a PhD in Physics at the University of Cambridge

Of his time studying Physics at Bilborough College: “Brilliant!”
– Stephen, now a GP in London