GCSE Physics Tutors
A brief look at the GCSE Physics syllabus, together with options for further study from The Profs.
Why study GCSE Physics?
The ability to manipulate different materials has shaped human history and continues to shape and reshape the modern world. For some, GCSE Physics is a step toward a technological or engineering vocation, while for others it is an almost religious desire to explore how the universe works.
Physics isn’t only used by scientists. It is used on an everyday basis by electricians, mechanical engineers and structural designers. Much of the modern world would soon fall into disrepair if physics were not being constantly applied to keep everything running. GCSE Physics is a very good grounding for those thinking of further training to become engineers or technicians of any kind.
For those with more academic ambitions, GCSE Physics can lead on to a Physics A level and then to a university Physics degree. However, physics can also be a route into other sciences, such as Environmental Science, Astronomy or Aeronautics, or into the arts such as Architecture, Science Journalism or Game Design.
What will I study in GCSE Physics?
Over the centuries, we have learned that things we can see and touch are composed and moved by forces we often can’t. Thanks to some ingenious experiments, we can now predict and apply many of these hidden forces. Others are still veiled in mystery. GCSE Physics will give you a clearer picture as to what familiar things such as sound and electricity really are, but will also leave you wondering about questions we still cannot answer.
Some of the main topics that will be covered in a GCSE Physics course commonly include the following;
- Force and energy
- Pressure, vectors and momentum
- Atomic structure and radiation
- Particles and waves
- Magnetism and electromagnetism
- Fundamental forces
Your study of forces will touch upon gravity and acceleration, braking, centres of mass, power and energy, compression and elasticity, gears and levers, hydraulics, circular motion, mass and density, Newton’s laws, friction, and vector diagrams.
Your study of electricity will introduce you to DC and AC current, static electricity, charge, resistance, potential difference, capacity, voltage, wattage, circuit diagrams, thermistors, fuses and breakers, motors and generators, transformers, microphones and speakers, household insulation, energy conservation and global energy resources.
You will investigate wave propagation and reflection, frequency and wavelength, periodic motion, sound waves, seismic waves, electromagnetic waves, magnetic fields and flux, lenses, black body radiation and specific and latent heat.
When you explore atomic particles, you will learn about electrons, protons, neutrons, isotopes, energy shells, atomic number, radioactive decay, half-life, nuclear fission and fusion.
The course may also introduce you to astrophysical topics such as orbital motion and satellites, stellar lifecycles, red shifts and the dark matter hypothesis.
Is GCSE Physics right for me?
Much of GCSE Physics involves learning about experiments or actually conducting them. There will also be many exercises that ask you to deduce the effects of applying energy using known laws and formulae. A good grounding in Mathematics will help you to complete this aspect of the course. In fact, parts of the course overlap with work you will also do in the “applied” (mechanics) module of GCSE Mathematics. This is even truer if you proceed onto A Level Physics and A Level Mathematics.
Parts of the course, notably studies around atomic structure, will also overlap with the syllabus of GCSE Chemistry.
If you’re sure that you’ll want to take Physics all the way to university level, be aware that colleges like to see more than one science at A Level, and also require strong Mathematics results.
Alternatives to GCSE Physics
Many potential employers look for a science qualification and GCSE Physics has particularly broad applications that can help in many careers. However, if you aren’t sure that you want to specialise in Physics an alternative is to do GCSE Science. This covers the basic elements of Physics, Chemistry and Biology in a single course.
Whichever route you choose, The Profs professional tutors are available to provide help in the areas where you feel you need it the most.