GCE Physics (2016)

Please note: a Specification Addendum is in place for the 2020/2021 academic year for those candidates completing their course in Summer 2021. View Specification Addendum.

The CCEA GCE Physics specification encourages students to develop their enthusiasm for the subject and an interest in further studies and careers in physics.

Students develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of physics and how they relate to each other.

This specification is available at two levels: AS and A2. Students can take the AS units plus the A2 units for a full GCE A level qualification. They can also choose to take the AS course as a stand-alone qualification.

At AS level, there are three externally assessed units, including one focused on practical skills.

Students who continue to A2 study a further three externally assessed units that include a synoptic element, encouraging them to develop an understanding of physics as a whole.

The specification has six units:

  • Unit AS 1: Forces, Energy and Electricity
  • Unit AS 2: Waves, Photons and Astronomy
  • Unit AS 3: Practical Techniques and Data Analysis
  • Unit A2 1: Deformation of Solids, Thermal Physics, Circular Motion, Oscillations and Atomic and Nuclear Physics
  • Unit A2 2: Fields, Capacitors and Particle Physics
  • Unit A2 3: Practical Techniques and Data Analysis.

Current Specification

First teaching: from September 2016
First award of AS level: from Summer 2017
First award of A level: from Summer 2018
QAN AS level: 601/8520/X
QAN A level: 601/8519/3
Guided learning hours AS level: 180
Guided learning hours A level: 360
Qualification level: 3
Subject Code: 1210

Skills developed through our GCE Physics

This specification builds on learning from Key Stage 4 and gives students opportunities to continue to develop the Cross-Curricular Skills and the Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities.  

Students develop competence in a range of practical, mathematical and problem-solving skills. They develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of scientific skills, and knowledge and understanding of how science works.

The specification helps students to develop advanced study skills, providing a firm grounding for students wishing to progress to higher education in physics or related subjects such as engineering or electronics. Higher education courses in these subjects usually require an A level qualification in physics for entry.

For more information on this specification contact:

Gavin Gray
Subject Officer
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2270
Nola Fitzsimons
Specification Support Officer
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2235