Department Information


Members of the Department

Mr B McArdle (Head of Department)
Mr D Gibson
Dr H Khamanra
Miss L Mcareavey (Technician)


Physics involves the study of how the world around us works. This study ranges from an analysis of the fundamental particles which make up the protons, neutrons and electrons in the atom to the universe.

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

The curriculum at Years 11 and 12 is developed fully from that studied in Key Stage 3. The schemes of work and the Workbooks, which have been developed, have been planned to make explicit the links with work covered in Years 8 to 10 and to guide the student clearly to and through more complex concepts and more detailed quantitative analysis of topics.

GCSE Triple Award Science

All the students in Years11 and 12 who study Triple Award Science are prepared over the two years for G.C.S.E. Examination in Physics. The examinations and assessment board chosen by the Physics Department is CCEA.

GCSE Double Award Science

All the students in Years 11 and 12 who study Double Award Science are prepared over the two years for G.C.S.E. Examination in Double Award Science. Students study topics in Physics, Chemistry and Biology to gain an award worth two GCSE grades. These students are allocated two thirds of the time Triple Award Students are given for their study of the three science subjects.  The examinations and assessment board chosen by the Physics Department is CCEA. The main aims of the course are as detailed above for Triple Award Science.

Key Stage 5 (GCE)

The GCE Physics course develops further, the topics studied in GCSE through more detailed study of the topics to enhance understanding and introduces you to new topics including Quantum Physics, Medical Physics and Particle Physics.

You therefore have the opportunity to learn about the sub atomic particles that make up protons, neutrons and electrons through to the forces which keep the planets in orbits around a sun and stars in galaxies. You are introduced to the many applications of our knowledge of physics in the world of communications and technological developments and the rapidly developing application of this knowledge to medicine including ultrasound scanning, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and the use of endoscopes. Practical work forms a major element of the G.C.E. course. You will develop your investigative, observation, analytical and communication skills through repeated opportunities to engage in practical work.

Career Opportunities

The study of GSE A-Level Physics provides you with a firm foundation for the further study of physics, and related subjects at university, such as applied mathematics, astronomy, astrophysics, medical physics, engineering (including aeronautical, civil, electrical, electronic and mechanical), geophysics and materials science. Many students who study GCE A-Level Physics subsequently study Medical Physics, Optometry, Medicine and Veterinary Science.

Geophysicist/field seismologist, Medical physicist , Radiation protection practitioner, Research scientist (physical sciences), Scientific laboratory technician ,  Meteorologist, Operational researcher, Patent attorney Product/process development scientist, Systems developer, Technical author