Category Archives: A-level Subjects

A-Level Maths

A-Level Maths

A-Level Mathematics has a number of units that allow students to build on knowledge achieved at GCSE level. It is expected that students will achieve a grade C or above at GCSE before commencing A-Level Maths. You may choose to study A-Level Maths as it is a requirement for a specific degree course or just because you enjoy the subject and want to learn more.

Recently the number of students studying A-Level Maths has been increasing, possibly due to poorer job prospects.  Some university admissions tutors see studying A-Level Maths as one way for students to push themselves academically, because they have chosen one of the more ‘difficult’ A-Level subjects.

A-Level Maths

There are a number of ‘core’ subjects defined for A-Level Mathematics. The Core Mathematics unit includes indices, coordinate geometry, graphs, differentiation, algebra, trigonometry and vectors.

Other units include:

  • Further and Pure Mathematics will develop your knowledge and skills around complex numbers equations, coordinate systems, differential equations, series, Mclaurin and Taylor series and matrix algebra.
  • Mechanics units will develop your knowledge and skills of areas such as mathematical models, kinematics, dynamics, vectors and statics, as well as centres of mass and collisions.
  • Statistics will develop your knowledge of probability, representation and summary of data, correlation, regression, distributions, sampling and hypotheses
  • Decision Mathematics includes algorithms, critical path analysis, route inspection problems, dynamic programming, linear programming, matchings and flows in networks.

A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of AS-Level units and A2 level units. You will usually study six units; your sixth form or college will confirm the units available. The assessment for A-Level Maths is by 100% exam. The exams last for around 1 hour and 30 minutes and there is no coursework required.

Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.

By choosing to study A-Level Maths, you will develop your understanding of Maths, develop reasoning and extend your skills as well as being able to apply your skills and knowledge to the ‘real-world’. All A-Level Maths courses also provide opportunities for students to develop Key Skills such as Communication and Problem Solving.

AS-Level Maths

The AS-Level Maths units are the equivalent of the first year of study of A-Level Maths. In total, you need to study three units to achieve the award, including core mathematics. The additional two units may be from pure mathematics, statistics, mechanics or decision mathematics.

  • Core Mathematics includes indices, coordinate geometry and graphs and differentiation, algebra, trigonometry and vectors.
  • Further and Pure Mathematics includes complex numbers equations, coordinate systems, differential equations, and series.
  • Statistics includes probability, representation and summary of data, correlation.
  • Mechanics includes mathematical models, kinematics, dynamics and vectors.
  • Decision Mathematics includes algorithms, critical path analysis, route inspection problems and dynamic programming.

A2-Level Maths

The A2 Maths is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level Maths. This is not a separate award. The A2 –Level Maths with the AS-Level Maths makes up the A-Level Maths.

A2-Level Maths will further your knowledge from AS-Level maths. The A2 units are often optional units that you may choose to meet the requirements of your university course or future career choices.

A-Level Maths Exam Board Information

Three main exam boards award AS-Level and A-Level Mathematics in the UK and the content and structure of the courses are very similar. It will depend on your college or sixth form as to which exam board will award your AS-Level or A-Level Maths.

  • AQA award around 42% of all A-Levels in the UK. The specification for AQA A-Level Maths is here.
  • Edexcel are another of the main UK Exam Boards and you can access the AS-Level and A-Level Maths specification here.
  • The A-level Maths specification for the OCR Exam Board is available on their website.
  • CCEA offer A-Level Maths for students in Northern Ireland and the specification is available here.
  • WJEC A-Level Maths is available to England and Wales and the specification for is available from their website.
  • University of Cambridge International Examinations offers A-Level Maths and the specification is available here.

Career Opportunities

A-Level Maths is a core requirement for degrees such as Mathematics, Physics and Engineering. It is often a requirement of Biological Sciences, Computer Science and Economics degrees.

You may also be considering a career in teaching. Because of the shortage of Maths teachers in the UK, the government are offering bursaries for those who train as Maths teachers. A-Level Maths is important for studying Pure Maths, or Maths-based degrees, such as statistics at university. These will then allow you to apply for a PGCE Maths degree so that you can teach.

Even if you are unsure of what career route you will choose, studying A-Level Maths helps to develop many skills, such as logic and reasoning, which can apply to any workplace.

Other Useful Information

  • OCR has an extensive range of Question Papers on their website.
  • CCEA offer a variety of resources including past papers.
  • Past papers are available here for the University of Cambridge International Examinations A-Level Maths.
  • WJEC also offer past papers and WJEC with the National Grid for Learning Cymru offer A-Level Maths resources in both English and Cymraeg here.
    • The mathcentre offers free maths support materials for post-GCSE maths.
  • Schoolworkout Maths offers A-Level Maths resources including revision questions for different units.

A-Level Classical Civilisations

A-Level Classical Civilisations

By choosing to study A-Level Classical Civilisations, you will develop knowledge of Classical Civilisations, including archaeology, politics, art, history, philosophy, religion, culture and literature. Studying Classical Civilisations also gives you an understanding of how these civilisations helped to shape the modern world. Classics subjects are generally regarded as highly academic subjects that will provide a firm foundation for studying a variety of degrees at university.

A-Level Classical Civilisations

A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of two AS-Level units and two A2 level units. You will study four units and the assessment for A-Level Classical Civilisations is mainly exam-based.

Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.

AS-Level Classical Civilisations

  • AQA AS-Level Classical Civilisations

In the first unit, An Introduction to an Aspect of Classical Civilisation 1, you will study one topic from a selection that includes:

  • Greek Architecture and Sculpture
  • Athenian Democracy
  • Aristophanes and Athens
  • Women in Athens and Rome
  • Menander and Plautus
  • The Life and Times of Cicero

In the second unit, An Introduction to an Aspect of Classical Civilisation 2, you will study one of the following topics:

  • Homer Iliad
  • Homer Odyssey
  • Athenian Vase Painting
  • Athenian Imperialism
  • Roman Architecture and Town Planning
  • The Second Punic War
  • OCR AS-Level Classical Civilisations

You will study two subjects from the list below for the AS-Level award:

  • Mycenaean archaeology, art and architecture
  • Principles and practices of archaeological methodology
  • Homer’s Odyssey and the society and values it represents
  • Roman society and history through a study of Roman literature
  • The works of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, as works of literature and as social
  • Documents
  • Historical texts by Thucydides, Herodotus and Plutarch
  • The cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Ostia in their social, cultural, political and historical contexts

A2-Level Classical Civilisations

  • AQA A2 Classical Civilisations

For the first unit, A Study of an Aspect of Classical Civilisation 1, you will select one of the following for study:

  • Mycenaean Civilisation
  • The Persian Wars
  • Greek Tragedy
  • Augustus and the Foundation of the Principate

For the final unit, A Study of an Aspect of Classical Civilisation 2, you will be able to study one of the following:

  • Socrates and Athens
  • Alexander
  • Roman Epic
  • Tiberius and Claudius
  • OCR A2 Classical Civilisations

You will study two of the A2 units below:

  • Romano-British society and history as depicted in the literary and archaeological record
  • The sculpture, vase painting and architecture of the Classical Greek world
  • The works of Aristophanes, Menander and Plautus in their historical, literary and cultural contexts
  • Virgil’s Epic, the Aeneid, in its literary and cultural context

A-Level Classical Civilisations Exam Board Information

  • The Edexcel AS and A-Level Classical Civilisations specification is available from their website.

Career Opportunities

Many people who study A-Level Classical Civilisations will go on to study Classics or Ancient History at University. Other people will choose to study Classical Civilisations as it overlaps with many other subjects, including politics, archaeology, architecture, art and literature.

Other Useful Information

  • Past papers are available for AQA AS-Level and A-Level Classical Civilisations here.
  • There is a list of links to resources for AS-Level and A-Level Classical Civilisations here.

A-Level Spanish

A-Level Spanish

Spanish is one of the most common languages spoken in the world today. By choosing to study A-Level Spanish, you will be able to communicate confidently, clearly and effectively in Spanish for a variety of purposes.  You will be able to listen and respond to a variety of spoken sources as well as read and respond to writing in a variety of styles. You will also be able to speak Spanish to express facts, ideas, explanations and opinions both verbally and in writing.

You will also develop an understanding of grammar and be able to apply this. A-Level Spanish also allows you to learn about the cultural aspects of Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries. It may be necessary that you study GCSE Spanish before commencing A-Level Spanish.

A-Level Spanish

A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of two AS-Level units and two A2 level units. You will study four set units for the award of A-Level Spanish. The assessment for A-Level Spanish is by role-play, topic discussion and exam.

Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.

AS-Level Spanish

  • OCR AS-Level Spanish

The two core units for AS-Level Spanish are Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. While studying in these units, you will learn about a variety of topics, such as daily living, leisure and entertainment, communication, media, education and training.

  • AQA AS-Level Spanish

The two units of Listening, Reading and Writing and Speaking Test will allow you to develop your knowledge of Spanish over a variety of topics that include the media, popular culture, healthy living, lifestyles, family, relationships and popular culture.

  • Edexcel AS-Level Spanish

There are two units for the AS-Level, Spoken Expression and Response in Spanish and Understanding and Written Response in Spanish. You will be able to converse in Spanish as well as read and respond to writings in a number of topics including youth culture and concerns, lifestyle, education, employment and the world around us.

  • WJEC AS-Level Spanish

In the first unit, Oral in Spanish and the second unit, Listening, Reading and Writing in Spanish, you will demonstrate that you are able to respond appropriately to both spoken and written Spanish. You will focus on individuals, society, leisure, and lifestyles.

  • University of Cambridge International Examinations AS-Level Spanish

The two units are the Speaking Test and the Reading and Writing. These will allow you to learn about a variety of topics, such as human relationships, the media, free time activities, cultural heritage, law and order, equality of opportunity and many others.

There are also other Spanish options available from this exam board. You may also choose to study AS-Level Spanish – Language that will allow you to become fluent, accurate and confident in Spanish. There is also the opportunity to study AS-Level Spanish – Literature, which will give you the opportunity to study Spanish literature including books, poems and plays in detail. If Spanish is your first language, then you may wish to study AS-Level Spanish – First Language.

  • CCEA AS-Level Spanish

In the first AS unit, Speaking and the second unit, Listening, Reading and Writing, you will learn about relationships, health, lifestyle and young people in society.

A2-Level Spanish

The A2 Spanish is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level Spanish. This is not a separate award. The A2–Level Spanish with the AS-Level Spanish makes up the A-Level Spanish.  A2-Level Spanish will further develop your knowledge from AS-Level Spanish.

  • OCR A2 Spanish

The A2 units are Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing and both of these will continue to develop your Spanish reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. You will learn about society, environment, science, technology, and culture.

  • AQA A2 Spanish

Your Spanish knowledge and skills will develop in the two units, Listening, Reading and Writing and Speaking. You will learn about a variety of topics such as the environment, contemporary social issues and the multicultural society. You will also study a cultural topic, such as history or literature.

  • Edexcel A2 Spanish

In the unit Understanding and Spoken Response in Spanish, you are able to demonstrate reading, speaking and writing skills around an issue of your own choice. In Research, Understanding and Written Response in Spanish you will produce an essay as well as research a topic relating to the Spanish-culture. Topics that you will learn about include customs, traditions, beliefs and religions, events and literature and the arts.

  • WJEC A2 Spanish

You will build on your AS knowledge in the A2 units, Oral in Spanish and Listening, Reading and Writing in Spanish. Both of these will allow you to demonstrate your language skills in responding to both spoken and written Spanish. You will learn about environmental issues as well as social and political issues.

  • University of Cambridge International Examinations A2 Spanish

The A2 will continue to build on your AS knowledge and skills in the Speaking Test and the Reading and Writing units. As with the AS, you will learn about a wide variety of topics.

  • CCEA A2 Spanish

In the Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing units, you will develop your AS speaking, reading and writing skills around topics such as local and global citizenship and environmental awareness.

A-Level Spanish Exam Board Information

  • The specification for AQA AS-Level and A-Level Spanish is available on their website.
  • The specification for OCR AS and A-Level Spanish is available here.
  • The Edexcel AS and A-Level Spanish specification is available here.
  • The WJEC A-Level is available from WJEC.
  • The relevant year syllabus for Cambridge International AS and A-Level Spanish is available here.

Career Opportunities

Many students choose to study A-Level Spanish so that they can study Spanish, or courses such as Hispanic Studies at university. There are also a number of universities offering joint Honours degrees, such as Economics and Spanish or Education and Spanish. A number of students may also choose to study other modern foreign languages alongside, such as French.

Some students may wish to live and work in Spain, or one of the many other-Spanish speaking countries and A-Level Spanish is also a popular choice for those who wish to work in the tourism industry. Other career opportunities include translation, linguistics and teaching.

Other Useful Information

  • Edexcel have a number of past papers for AS-Level and A-Level Spanish available here.
  • WJEC offer past papers on their website.
  • There are past question papers available for the University of Cambridge International Examinations AS-Level Spanish.
  • OCR past papers for A-Level Spanish are available on their website.
  • There is a selection of CCEA past papers for A-Level Spanish available on the CCEA website.
  • There is a selection of A-Level Spanish resources here.
  • This site offers a number of links for Spanish revision.

 

A-Level Government and Politics

A-Level Government and Politics

If you choose to study A-Level Government and Politics then you will develop knowledge of the UK political systems as well as an understanding of the UK within the European Union. You will also be aware of how political decisions shape the country, both in the present and for the future.

You will explore what democracy means, party politics and the key institutions that are involved in politics. You will also be able to understand, interpret and analyse political knowledge and information as well as developing an awareness of citizenship and the rights and responsibilities of individuals.

A-Level Government and Politics

A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of AS-Level units and A2 level units. You will study four units. The assessment for A-Level Government and Politics is by exam.

Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.

AS-Level Government and Politics

  • Edexcel AS-Level Government and Politics

In the first unit, People and Politics, you will explore key channels of communication between the government and its people. You will focus on evaluating the arrangements to ensure democracy and participation. In the second unit, Governing the UK, you will develop knowledge of the major governmental processes in the UK. You will also develop understanding of the role and effectiveness of key institutions, as well as how these work in multi-level governance.

  • OCR AS-Level Government and Politics

The first unit, Contemporary Politics of the UK will develop your knowledge of political parties and pressure groups as well as electoral systems, elections and voting behaviour. In the second unit, Contemporary Government of the UK, you will explore the constitution, the executive, legislature, judiciary and the European Union.

  • WJEC AS-Level Government and Politics

In the People, Politics and Participation unit, you will develop an understanding of political behaviour in the UK, including voting, electoral systems and referendums. You will also explore political parties and pressure groups. In the second unit, Governing Modern Wales, you will focus on how Wales and the UK is governed, You will explore the power of the state, the constitution, democracy and the power that unelected bureaucrats can hold.

  • CCEA AS-Level Government and Politics

In the first unit, The Government and Politics of Northern Ireland, you will focus on a range of political concepts and apply them to the context of Northern Ireland. You will also develop knowledge of government arrangements, strategies and policies and political effects of different electoral systems in Northern Ireland. In the second unit, The British Political Process, you will focus on the governance of Britain and the relationships between judiciary, executive and legislature.

A2-Level Government and Politics

The A2 Government and Politics is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level Government and Politics. This is not a separate award. The A2 –Level Government and Politics with the AS-Level Government and Politics makes up the A-Level Government and Politics.  A2-Level Government and Politics will further develop your knowledge from AS-Level Government and Politics.

  • Edexcel A2 Government and Politics

For the AS units, you will build on your AS knowledge. In the Key Themes in Political Analysis unit, you will study one of the following topics in detail:

  1. UK political issues
  2. Introducing political ideologies
  3. Representative processes in the USA
  4. Structure of global politics

In the Extended Themes in Political Analysis unit, you will study one of the following in detail, building on from the first A2 unit:

  1. EU political issues
  2. Other ideological traditions
  3. Governing the USA
  4. Global political issues
  • OCR A2 Government and Politics

For the award of the A-Level, you will have a choice of the following options. Contemporary US Government and Politics with US Government and Politics or, Political Ideas and Concepts with Political Ideas and Concepts in Practice. Both of these will allow you to develop knowledge of politics outside of the UK, building on your existing AS knowledge.

  • WJEC A2 Government and Politics

For the first A2 unit, you will have a choice of study from one of the following units:

  1. In The Politics of the USA unit, you will be expected to develop your AS knowledge to explore topics such as the electoral process and direct democracy, political parties, voting behaviour and pressure groups.
  2. In the Political Ideologies unit, you will focus on liberalism, socialism, conservatism and nationalism.

For the second A2 unit, you will be able to study one of the following:

  1. In the Government of the USA unit, you will focus on the constitutional framework of US government, US Congress, executive branch of government and the Supreme Court.
  2. In the Challenges in Contemporary Politics, you will focus on globalisation, environmentalism, feminism and multiculturalism.
  • CCEA A2 Government and Politics

In the first A2 unit, Comparative Government, you will compare executive and legislative processes in either the United Kingdom and the United States of America or the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

In the second unit, Political Power and Political Ideas you will study either Political Power, which focuses on nature and distribution of political power and the basis of political authority and stability, or Political Ideas, which will allow you to explore liberalism, socialism and conservatism and how these differ.

A-Level Government and Politics Exam Board Information

  • The Edexcel A-Level Government and Politics specification is available here.
  • The specification for the OCR AS and A-Level Government and Politics is available here.
  • The CCEA A-Level Government and Politics specification is available here.
  • The specification for WJEC A-Level Government and Politics is available here.

Career Opportunities

Most people study A-Level Government and Politics so that they can study Politics at University. Others students will choose to study degrees such as History, Law, Philosophy, Sociology and Media Studies. Other career options include working in business, finance, local government or becoming involved in politics itself.

Other Useful Information

  • WJEC offer past papers for A-Level Government and Politics.
  • Edexcel offer past papers and other resources for A-Level Government and Politics.
  • There are a number of resources available from tutor2u for the AS-Level and A-Level Government and Politics.
  • Getrevising  has a selection of Government and Politics revision resources.

A-Level Physics

A-Level Physics

Physics remains one of the more ‘difficult’ subject choices at A-level due to the nature of the subject. The number of students choosing to study A-Level Physics is continuing to decline. Whether this is because of the nature of the course, or because of its reliance on maths, remains unknown.

Physics is important in society and it plays a key role in many of our day-to-day processes. It has also helped us to develop theories about our universe, time, matter and even energy. If you choose to study A-Level Physics, it will also allow you to consider the impact of social, individual, cultural and ethical issues in physics, such as around the use of nuclear power.

A-Level Physics

A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of three AS-Level units and three A2 level units. You will study six units and the assessment for A-Level Physics is by coursework and exams. There is also a significant amount of practical assessment in the exams.

Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.

AS-Level Physics

AQA offer two AS-level Physics award, AS-Level Physics A and AS-Level Physics B.

  • AQA AS-Level Physics A

Particles, Quantum Phenomena and Electricity will allow you gain awareness of development of new ideas in Physics as well as developing understanding of well-established topics such as electricity. The Mechanics, Materials and Waves unit will allow you to develop knowledge of both the principles and applications of these key topics. Investigative and Practical Skills in AS Physics unit allows you to demonstrate your knowledge practically.

  • AQA AS-Level Physics B: Physics in Context

The first unit Harmony and Structure in the Universe focuses on communication and the nature of audio information. The second unit, Physics Keeps Us Going focuses on force, motion and energy changes. Investigative and Practical Skills in AS Physics unit allows you to demonstrate your knowledge practically.

  • Edexcel AS-Level Physics

The Physics on the go unit will allow you to study mechanics and materials. You will also explore how key principles apply to common examples. The Physics at Work Unit will explore waves, electricity and the wave/particle nature of light. The Exploring Physics will either be an experiment devised from a physics-based visit or a case study.

  • WJEC AS-Level Physics

Motion, Energy and Charge will allow you to develop core knowledge of mechanics and electrical circuits. The Waves and Particles Unit will allow you to study waves, quantum physics, photons and particles in detail. The Practical Physics unit will allow you to use your acquired knowledge in a controlled experiment.

  • CCEA AS-Level Physics

The unit Forces, Energy and Electricity will allow you to develop skills around physical quantities, scalar and vectors. You will also explore Newtonian mechanics and electricity. The second unit, Waves, Photons and Medical Physics will introduce quantum theory, wave-particle duality and medical physics. The Practical Techniques unit will allow you to use your knowledge and acquire data analysis and evaluation techniques in the laboratory.

  • OCR AS-Level Physics

The first unit, Mechanics explores motion, work and energy and forces in action. The second unit, Electrons, Waves and Photons includes waves, electric current, resistance, DC circuits and quantum physics. The Practical Skills in Physics 1 will give you the opportunity to put your knowledge of the first two AS units into practice.

  • University of Cambridge International Examinations AS-Level Physics

The AS-Level includes general physics, Newtonian mechanics, matter, oscillations and waves, electricity and magnetism and modern physics. Assessment of these is by exams and a practical assessment.

A2-Level Physics

The A2 Physics is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level Physics. This is not a separate award. The A2 Physics with the AS-Level Physics makes up the A-Level Physics.  The A2-Level Physics will further develop your knowledge from AS-Level Physics.

  • AQA A2 Physics A

The Fields and Further Mechanics unit will build on your knowledge from the first unit of your AS level. Nuclear Physics, Thermal Physics and an Optional Topic will explore the characteristics of the nucleus and how energy is obtained. Thermal properties of materials and the nature and properties of gases are also explored. You then have the opportunity to study astronomy and cosmology, medical physics, applied physics or turning points in physics. The Investigative and Practical Skills in A2 physics will allow you to carry out investigations and experiments to demonstrate your practical skills.

  • AQA A2 Physics B: Physics in Context

Physics Inside and Out explores how physics sends probes and astronauts into space and key ideas such as orbital motion and free-fall. Energy Under the Microscope explores how macroscopic quantities such as pressure and temperature are explained by matter. Investigative and Practical Skills in A2 Physics will assess your A2 knowledge practically.

  • Edexcel A2 Physics

Physics on the Move will allow you to develop further knowledge of mechanics, electric and magnetic fields and particle physics. The Physics from Creation to Collapse unit focuses on astrophysics, cosmology, oscillations, nuclear decay and thermal energy. The Experimental Physics will allow you to plan, carry out and analyse your own experiment.

  • WJEC A2 Physics

The Oscillations & Fields unit will develop your knowledge around momentum, circular motion and oscillations, molecular kinetic theory, internal energy and force fields. Electromagnetism, Nuclei & Options will explore capacitance in circuits, nuclear physics and fields such as B-fields and electromagnetic induction. The final unit is Experimental Physics, which assesses your A-Level knowledge.

  • OCR A2 Physics

The first unit, The Newtonian World explores Newton’s laws and momentum, thermal physics and circular motion and oscillation. The second unit will give you the opportunity to develop knowledge of nuclear physics, exponential decay, electric and magnetic fields, medical imaging and modelling the universe. The Practical Skills in Physics 2 Unit will assess your A2 and AS Physics knowledge.

  • CCEA A2 Physics

Momentum, Thermal Physics, Circular Motion, Oscillations and Atomic and Nuclear Physics will build on your AS knowledge and you will also explore atomic and particle physics. The second unit, Fields and their Applications explores action-at-a-distance forces and how these apply to daily life. The Practical Techniques unit will build on your skills acquired in your AS Practical Techniques unit allowing you to develop your practical skills further.

  • University of Cambridge International Examinations A2 Physics

This will further develop your knowledge of AS content of general physics, Newtonian mechanics, matter, oscillations and waves, electricity and magnetism and modern physics.

A-Level Physics Exam Board Information

  • The specification for the WJEC AS and A-Level Physics is available here.
  • The CCEA AS-Level and A-Level Physics specification is available on their website.
  • The Edexcel AS and A-Level Physics specification is available from their website.
  • The specification for the OCR AS and A-Level Physics is available here.
  • University of Cambridge International Examinations A-Level Physics specification is available on their website.

Career Opportunities

Most people study A-Level Physics so that they can study Physics at University. A number of students will also wish to become Physics teachers and there are incentives available in this career path. A-Level Physics may be a requirement if you want to apply for Medicine, Veterinary Sciences, Radiography, Pharmacy or Physiotherapy. A-Level Physics may also be required for other health and medical professions, such as Nursing.

You may also find A-Level Physics helpful if you are wishing to study subjects such as Maths or Maths-based subjects, such as Computer Science or Engineering. Whatever your career choice, by studying A-Level Physics, you are able to demonstrate to both university admissions tutors and employers that you have excellent analytical and problem solving skills. You will also have developed strong IT and Maths skills.

Other Useful Information

  • Edexcel past papers and exemplar materials are available on their website.
  • Past papers are available on the CCEA website.
  • OCR past papers and other resources are available on their website.
  • University of Cambridge International Examinations A-Level Physics question papers are available here.
  • The Antonine Education website has a variety of Physics resources.
  • The Leonardo Project has a variety of interactive resources designed for the AQA awards.
  • Other A-Level Physics resources are available from the MATTER project.

A-Level Philosophy

A-Level Philosophy

A-Level Philosophy will also allow you to learn to think for yourself by exploring profound questions. It also encourages you to be open-minded and develop new ways of thinking about yourself and the world around you.

A-Level Philosophy

Four units are required for certification, made up of two AS-Level units and two A2 level units. The assessment for A-Level Philosophy is exam.

Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.

AS-Level Philosophy

  • AQA AS-Level Philosophy

An Introduction to Philosophy 1 and An Introduction to Philosophy will allow you to explore reason and experience, schemes, governance, morals, the idea of god, persons, knowledge of the external world, tolerance, art, free will and determinism.

A2-Level Philosophy

The A2 Philosophy is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level Philosophy. This is not a separate award. The A2 –Level Philosophy with the AS-Level Philosophy makes up the A-Level Philosophy.  The A2-Level Philosophy will further develop your knowledge from AS-Level Philosophy.

  • AQA A2 Philosophy

In Key Themes in Philosophy, you will explore the philosophy of mind, political philosophy, epistemology and metaphysics, philosophy of religion and moral philosophy. In the Philosophical Problems unit, you will approach philosophy via problems raise by philosophers, such as Descartes, Plato and Nietzsche in their classic texts.

A-Level Philosophy Exam Board Information

Career Opportunities

Some people will choose to study Philosophy further at University, but for others, the nature of the subject means they will go onto study a wide variety of subjects such as Politics, Economics, History, Law, Journalism, or Advertising. Because Philosophy offers students the chance to think clearly and take responsibility for their own learning, it is not just of benefit for university admission, but also for almost any career.

Other Useful Information

  • AQA past papers and other resources for A-Level Philosophy are available on the AQA website.

A-Level Performance Studies

A-Level Performance Studies

By studying A-level Performance Studies, you will acquire a multidisciplinary approach to the performing arts and you will develop your imagination, sensitivity, artistic knowledge and understanding.

A-Level Performance Studies

A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of two AS-Level units and two A2 level units. You will study four units and the assessment for A-Level Performance Studies is by performance and written exams.

Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.

AS-Level Performance Studies

  • OCR AS-Level Performance Studies

In Creating Performance, you will be involved in specialist workshops. You will also produce a short piece in an individual art form (such as dance); a longer piece that includes dance, drama and music for the community. In Performance Contexts 2, you will study two specified practitioners in detail.

A2-Level Performance Studies

The A2 Performance Studies is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level Performance Studies. This is not a separate award. The A2 –Level Performance Studies with the AS-Level Performance Studies makes up the A-Level Performance Studies.  The A2-Level Performance Studies will further develop your knowledge from AS-Level Performance Studies.

  • OCR A2-Level Performance Studies

In Performance Contexts 2, you will study in detail one of the following topics:

  1. Post-modern approaches to the Performing Arts since 1960
  2. Politics and Performance since 1914
  3. The Twentieth-Century American Musical
  4. Approaches to Performance in the Far East

For your Performance Project, you will produce two performances. The first is a response to a specified commission and a realisation of a work that you have studied in Performance Contexts 1 or 2.

A-Level Performance Studies Exam Board Information

Career Opportunities

Most people study A-Level Performance Studies as they wish to study Performance Studies /Performing Arts at University. A number of students will wish to apply to through drama or stage schools for practical training. This course also works well with other arts-based subjects as well as English Literature for students who are considering a teaching career.

Career opportunities may include amateur or professional acting, playwriting, directing, stage management or many other roles within the theatre, performing arts and even roles within the music industry, television or film.

Other Useful Information

  • This site offers a selection of Drama and Theatre Studies resources for a variety of courses, including A-Level.

A-Level Physical Education

A-Level PE (Physical Education)

By studying PE, you will have the opportunity to review your current participation in physical activity and identify opportunities for you to further participation. You will learn about sports from the basic to elite level. You will also learn about healthy lifestyles, fitness, training and preparation for sports activities.

A-Level PE

A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of two AS-Level units and two A2 level units. You will study four units and the assessment for A-Level PE is by coursework and exams.

Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.

AS-Level PE

  • AQA AS-Level PE

In the Opportunities For and The Effects of Leading a Healthy and Active Lifestyle unit, you will learn about exercise physiology, nutrition and movement. You will also learn about how skills are acquired and how psychological factors can affect performance. In the Analysis and Evaluation of Physical Activity as a Performer and/or in an Adopted Role(s) you will analyse your own performance and the performance of others in activities. You will also explore the roles of performer, official and coach.

  • Edexcel AS-Level PE

In Participation in Sport and Recreation, you will develop knowledge about healthy and active lifestyles, how the body responds and adapts to exercise and fitness training. You will also learn about the development of competitive sport over time. In The Critical Sports Performer, you will be able to study the roles of player, leader and official and you will undertake two of these roles over a period.

  • WJEC AS-Level PE

In the Improving Performance in Physical Education, you can focus on improving your own performance or improving your health, fitness and wellbeing. Both of these will require you to produce a personal performance profile. In Active Lifestyles and Physical Education, you will explore lifestyle choices, opportunities for physical activity, the benefits of activity and the role of nutrition in performance and life.

  • OCR AS-Level PE

In An Introduction to Physical Education, you will study anatomy and physiology, movement skills and socio-cultural studies relating to participation in physical activities. In Acquiring, Developing and Evaluating Practical Skills in Physical Education, you will focus on performance, planning and evaluating to improve performance.

  • University of Cambridge International Examinations AS-Level PE

You will learn about applied anatomy and physiology and acquiring, developing and performing movement skills. You will also learn about the conceptual basis of PE and sport, such as leisure and recreation, concepts of play and concepts of sport. You will also develop an understanding of how to achieve excellence in sport, focusing on a country of your choice.

A2-Level PE

The A2 PE is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level PE. This is not a separate award. The A2 –Level PE with the AS-Level PE makes up the A-Level PE.  The A2-Level PE will further develop your knowledge from AS-Level PE.

  • AQA A2 PE

In the Optimising Performance and Evaluating Contemporary Issues within Sport unit, you will apply your knowledge of physiology to optimise performance. You will also study further psychological aspects to optimise performance and you will explore contemporary sports issues such as World Games and Sport England. In Optimising Practical Performance in a Competitive Situation, you will focus on improving your own performance in one of the three roles of performer, coach or official.

  • Edexcel A2 PE

In Preparation for Optimum Sports Performance, you will study the short and long-term physiological and psychological preparations made by elite athletes. In the Developing Sports Performance, you will specialise in a practical performance role, undertake research into roles internationally and you will produce a physical activity plan of future activities.

  • WJEC A2 PE

The first A2 unit, Refining Performance in Physical Education will allow you to select one activity in which you can improve as a performer, coach or official. In Performance, Provision and Participation in Physical Education you will learn about how to refine sporting performance and enhance health, commercialisation of sport, science and technology in sport. You will also learn about social, economic, cultural and ethical factors that may influence involvement in physical activities.

  • OCR AS-Level PE

In Principles and Concepts across Different Areas of Physical Education, you can choose to focus on historical or comparative studies for the socio-cultural option. For the scientific options you can choose, sports psychology, biomechanics or exercise and sport physiology. In The Improvement of Effective Performance and the Critical Evaluation of Practical Activities in Physical Education, you will be able to evaluate, appreciate and improve performance.

  • University of Cambridge International Examinations A2 PE

In Exercise and Sport Physiology, you will develop your knowledge of anatomy and physiology, with an emphasis on energy, training and fitness. You will also explore Psychology of Sport Performance, where you will learn about theories for individual aspects, as well as group dynamics, mental preparation and competition. You will also learn about the Olympic Games from a global perspective.

A-Level PE Exam Board Information

  • The AQA A-Level PE specification is available on the AQA website.
  • The specification for the WJEC AS and A-Level PE is available here.
  • The Edexcel A-Level PE specification is available from their website.
  • The OCR A-Level PE specification is available here.
  • The University of Cambridge International Examinations A-Level PE specification is available on the CIE website.

Career Opportunities

Most people study A-Level PE so that they can study a variety of PE-based subject at university, such as Health Related Exercise and Fitness, Physical Education and Youth Sport, Sports Science, Sports Coaching, Physical and Outdoor Education. A number of students may also progress to further training in the leisure or fitness industries after completing A-Levels. Some students also wish to teach PE.

Other Useful Information

  • Edexcel past papers and exemplar materials are available on their website.
  • AQA past papers and other resources for A-Level PE are available on the AQA website.
  • WJEC have a variety of past papers available on their website.
  • OCR has a selection of past papers available for A-Level PE.
  • University of Cambridge International Examinations A-Level PE past papers are available.
  • This site has a variety of PE and Sports Coaching resources, including technique videos.
  • Revisionworld offers a selection of AS and A-Level PE revision resources.

A-Level Music

A-Level Music

By choosing to study A-Level Music, you will develop performance skills in music (solo and/or ensemble) and you will learn about a number of musical concepts. You will also engage in and develop an appreciation of the diverse and dynamic heritage of music.

Before starting on A-Level Music, you may require some musical understanding, such as completing GCSE music, as well as possessing skill in either instrumental or vocal performance.

A-Level Music

A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of three AS-Level units and three A2 level units. You will study six units and the assessment for A-Level Music is by composition, performance and exam. You will also demonstrate aural skills.

Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.

AS-Level Music

  • AQA AS-Level Music

The first unit, Influences on Music will allow you to acquire, explore and apply musical language to two of the following areas:

  1. The Western Classical Tradition (compulsory)
  2. Choral Music in the Baroque Period
  3. Music Theatre: a study of the Musical from 1940 to 1980
  4. British Popular Music from 1960 to the present day

In Creating Musical Ideas, you will be able to focus on one of the three areas:

  1. Compositional techniques
  2. Free composition or pastiche in response to a given genre
  3. Arranging

In the third unit, Interpreting Musical Ideas, you have the opportunity to perform as solo or as part of an ensemble with voice of any instrument.

  • Edexcel AS-Level Music

The Performing Music Unit offers you the opportunity to perform as a soloist or as part of an ensemble, with either your voice or any instrument. In the second unit, Composing, you will produce a three minute piece and CD sleeve note in response to a brief.  In Developing Musical Understanding, you will develop knowledge of how music works, by listening and studying scores. You will also develop understanding of harmonic and tonal features.

  • WJEC AS-Level Music

In Performing, you will present a piece of solo or ensemble music with voice or any instrument. In Composing, you will produce two contrasting compositions, one of which will reflect the Western Classical Tradition; the second will be a free composition. In the third unit, Appraising, you will focus on musical, structural, expressive and contextual aspects of set works.

  • CCEA AS-Level Music

Making and Appraising Music will allow you to develop knowledge, understanding, skills and sensitivity to music. You will focus on composing, performing, listening and appraising. In Responding to Music, you will develop your aural skills through involvement in composition performance, listening and appraising.

  • OCR AS-Level Music

In performing Music, you have the opportunity to perform as a soloist as well as perform on a second instrument of voice, or perform as part of a duet, as an accompanist or in an ensemble. In Composing 1, you will submit a portfolio of work that focuses on the language of Western tonal harmony and instrumental techniques. In the Introduction to Historical Study in Music unit, you will focus on a number of different recordings.

  • University of Cambridge International Examinations AS-Level Music

In Listening (Music of the Western Tradition) you will study in detail ‘First Viennese School (1770-1827) and Picturing Music. In the Practical Musicianship, you will perform a variety of compositions as a soloist, in a duet or an ensemble.

A2-Level Music

The A2 Music is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level Music. This is not a separate award. The A2 –Level Music with the AS-Level Music makes up the A-Level Music.  The A2-Level Music will further develop your knowledge from AS-Level Music.

  • AQA A2 Music

In Music in Context, you will focus in detail on two of the following topics:

  1. The Western Classical Tradition (compulsory)
  2. English Choral Music in the 20th century
  3. Chamber Music from Mendelssohn to Debussy
  4. Four decades of Jazz and Blues 1910–1950

In the second unit, Developing Musical Ideas, you will demonstrate that you can create and develop musical ideas with expressive understanding and technical control. You will complete one of the following briefs:

  1. Compositional techniques
  2. Free composition or pastiche in response to a chosen brief
  3. Arranging

In the third unit, Musical Performance, you will produce two or more contrasting pieces to form a short programme of music.

  • Edexcel A2 Music

In Extended Performance, you will perform a 12-15 minute piece as a solo or ensemble. In Composition and Technical Study, you will compose a piece in response to a brief and you will develop your technical knowledge. In Further Musical Understanding, you will focus on musical features and learn how to compare and contrast, contextualise and identify features of music.

  • WJEC A2 Music

In Performing, you will demonstrate your musical skills in a performance in which you demonstrate contrasting styles. In Composing, you will submit two contrasting styles of composition that allow you to demonstrate harmonic progressions and relationships as well as styles. In Appraising, you will focus on specific styles of music.

  • CCEA A2 Music

In Making and Appraising Music, you will develop your knowledge and skills from the AS units by producing a composition, In Responding to Music, you will be tested on your aural perception abilities around musical elements, structure and resources across a variety of styles, genres, periods and traditions.

  • OCR A2 Music

In Performing Music 2 (Interpretation), you have the opportunity to perform a recital and in Composing 2, you will produce a portfolio that focuses on stylsirtic techniques and an original composition. In Historical and Analytical Studies in Music, you will develop your aural skills as well understanding of vocal music. You will also study one of the following historic topics:

  1. Song
  2. Programme Music
  3. Music for Screen
  4. Music and Belief
  5. Music for the Stage
  6. Popular Music
  • University of Cambridge International Examinations A-Level Music

This is a separate award to the AS-Level. In Listening (Music of the Western Tradition), you will study in detail ‘First Viennese School (1770-1827) and Love and Loss. In the Practical Musicianship, you will perform a variety of compositions as a soloist, in a duet or an ensemble. In Performing, you will focus on a piece of music from any tradition, and in Composing, you will produce one piece, or a group of smaller pieces as a whole for voice, instrument or combination.

A-Level Music Exam Board Information

  • The AQA A-Level Music specification is available on the AQA website.
  • The specification for the WJEC AS and A-Level Music is available here.
  • The CCEA AS-Level and A-Level Music specification is available on their website.
  • The Edexcel AS and A-Level Music specification is available from their website.
  • The OCR specification is available here.
  • The University of Cambridge International Examinations specifications are available here.

Career Opportunities

Most people study A-Level Music so that they can study Music or Music-based subjects such as Digital Music, Music Technology, Music Performance or Music Recording at university. A number of degrees will focus on particular aspects of music, such as jazz and if you are looking to progress to university, you should consider what aspects of music you prefer to focus on. Other career opportunities include performing, teaching, music publishing or promotion.

Other Useful Information

  • Edexcel past papers and exemplar materials are available on their website.
  • AQA past papers for A-Level Music are available on their website.
  • Past papers and a student guide are available on the CCEA website.
  • There is a selection of past papers on the OCR website.
  • University of Cambridge International Examinations past papers are available here.
  • The Times Educational Supplement has links for a wide variety of Music Resources.
  • A-Level Music students may find this site useful for listening revision.