International AS and A-level Physics (9630)

A-level physics

Designed to prepare students for university study in Physics or Engineering.

This International AS and A-level specification covers all topics that students are expected to be familiar with in order to study Physics at university. It features carefully balanced depth and breadth of content that includes topics with contemporary and international relevance such as renewable energy.

  • Practical work is at the heart of science. We recognise this, so our specification includes ten practicals that have been designed to give students a broad range of hands-on knowledge.
  • These practical components are flexible around local access to equipment and materials and have been chosen to minimise the use of equipment that could potentially present difficulties in resourcing. Practical knowledge is assessed through the main exam papers.
  • Our exam papers are carefully designed to avoid cultural or linguistic bias and support students to fully demonstrate their scientific knowledge and understanding. Find out more about our approach to Fair Assessment.

International AS and A-level Physics (9630)

Unit 1: Mechanics, materials and atoms (AS)

Unit 2: Electricity, waves and particles (AS)

Unit 3: Fields and their consequences (A2)

Unit 4: Energy and energy resources (A2)

Unit 5: Physics in practice and multiple choice (A2)

View the switching guide to see the differences between your old International AS/A-level Physics specification and the OxfordAQA specification (version updated November 2022).

OxfordAQA International AS/A-level Physics covers the following topics:

Measurements and their errors
  • Use of SI units and their prefixes
  • Limitation of physical measurements
  • Estimation of physical quantities
Mechanics and materials
  • Scalars and vectors
  • Moments
  • Motion along a straight line
  • Projectile motion
  • Newton’s laws of motion
  • Momentum
  • Work, energy and power
  • Conservation of energy
  • Bulk properties of solids
  • The Young modulus
Particles, radiation and radioactivity
  • Constituents of the atom
  • Elementary particles
  • Radioactivity
  • Basics of electricity
  • Current – voltage characteristics
  • Resistivity
  • Circuits
  • Potential divider
  • Electromotive force and internal resistance
Oscillations and waves
  • Oscillating systems
  • Forced vibrations and resonance
  • Progressive waves
  • Longitudinal and transverse waves
  • Principle of superposition of waves and formation of stationary waves
  • Interference
  • Diffraction
  • Refraction at a plane surface
  • Collisions of electrons with atoms
  • Photoelectric effect
  • Wave particle duality
Circular and periodic motion (A-level only)
  • Circular motion
  • Simple harmonic motion
Gravitational fields and satellites (A-level only)
  • Newton’s gravitational law
  • Gravitational field strength
  • Gravitational potential
  • Orbits of planets and satellites
Electric fields and capacitance (A-level only)
  • Coulomb’s law
  • Electric field strength
  • Electric potential
  • Capacitors
Exponential change (A-level only)
  • Capacitor charge and discharge
  • Exponential changes in radioactivity
Magnetic fields (A-level only)
  • Magnetic flux density
  • Moving charges in a magnetic field
  • Magnetic flux and flux linkage
  • Electromagnetic induction
  • Alternating currents
  • The operation of a transformer
Thermal physics (A-level only)
  • Energy transfer by heating and doing work
  • Energy transfer by conduction and radiation
  • Ideal gases
  • Kinetic theory of gases
Nuclear energy (A-level only)
  • Radius of the nucleus
  • Mass and energy
  • Induced fission
  • Safety aspects nuclear reactors
  • Nuclear fusion
Energy sources (A-level only)
  • Rotational motion
  • Wind energy
  • Solar energy
  • Hydroelectric power and pumped storage
Practical and analytical skills (A-level only)
  • Practical skills
  • Data analysis skills

OxfordAQA provides all the resources and advice you need to teach the International AS and A-level Physics specification effectively.

We have too many International AS and A-level Physics resources to list here, so please visit our resources for teachers area to see them all, including:

  • Schemes of work to allow you to plan how to deliver the specification in a way that will best suit you and your students
  • Teaching guidance to outline clearly the scope of teaching and learning
  • Topic tests and mock exam analysers to allow you to track your students’ progress throughout the teaching year

This is a modular qualification, with five papers over the AS and A-level teaching period.

AS Paper 1 – Mechanics, Materials and Atoms:

  • 3.1 Measurements and their errors
  • 3.2 Mechanics and materials
  • 3.3 Particles, radiation and radioactivity
  • 2 hours
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of AS-level, 20% of A-level

AS Paper 2 – Electricity, Waves and Particles:

  • 3.4 Electricity
  • 3.5 Oscillations and waves
  • 2 hours
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of AS-level, 20% of A-level

A-level Paper 1 – Fields and Their Consequences:

  • 3.6 Circular and periodic motion
  • 3.7 Gravitational fields and satellites
  • 3.8 Electric fields and capacitance
  • 3.9 Exponential change
  • 3.10 Magnetic fields
  • 2 hours
  • 80 marks
  • 20% of A-level

A-level Paper 2 – Energy and Energy Resources:

  • 3.11 Thermal physics
  • 3.12 Nuclear energy
  • 3.13 Energy sources
  • 2 hours
  • 80 marks
  • 20% of A-level

A-level Paper 3 – Physics in Practice:

  • 3.14 Practical and analytical skills
  • Any part of the specification may be assessed
  • 2 hours
  • 80 marks
  • 20% of A-level


  • Candidates may re-sit a unit any number of times.
  • The best result for each unit will count towards the final qualification.
  • Candidates who wish to repeat a qualification may do so by re-sitting one or more units.

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You must be an approved OxfordAQA centre to enter students for our exams. Make sure you become an OxfordAQA centre before you start teaching a course.

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