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International A level Physics International A levels

Pearson Edexcel

IAL Physics image

Space, time, energy… study our International A level Physics online course and start to ‘think big’ when it comes to explaining our fascinating physical world.


Multi-buy A levels:

Purchasing more than one A level? Use voucher code ALMB10 to receive 10% off at checkout.

From exploring the tiniest subatomic particle to space exploration, our Physics International A level course spans diverse and intriguing topics. This qualification is essential if you’re considering a physics degree or interested in a range of rewarding related career paths.

Using engaging distance learning materials you’ll explore topics such as mechanics, electricity, thermodynamics, nuclear decay and space. This course will enable you to critically evaluate scientific information and evidence, as well as highlighting the key role of physics in everyday life. Maths help is also included in every section of the course to best support you within your studies.

As part of studying International A level Physics online, you’ll put theory into practice through 16 core practical experiments, of which some are suitable for completion at home.

Why study International A level Physics?

Our International A level Physics online course tackles complex ideas using relevant, engaging topics and high quality distance learning materials. Alongside subject knowledge, you’ll develop problem-solving, evaluation and analytical skills – all highly sought after by universities and employers.

You’ll have the flexibility to fit study around your lifestyle, learning at your own pace, with access to the support of a specialist personal tutor. Like many NEC students, perhaps you’ll go on to study a science-based subject at university, or use your qualification to support your next career move?

Our Physics International A level course is ideal if you:

  • are keen to build on the knowledge you’ve gained at GCSE level.
  • enjoy working scientifically: making predictions, testing theories and evaluating and communicating your findings.
  • would like to build your observational, investigative and problem-solving skills, to improve your employability.
  • want to discover how physics impacts everyday life.

Future opportunities

  • studying physics or STEM subjects at university.
  • Physics develops a unique skill set, well suited to a diverse range of careers in fields such as biotechnology, astronomy, meteorology, medicine, astrophysics, radiography, nanotechnology, climate science, engineering, computer science, journalism, architecture and teaching.
  • according to the Institute of Physics, graduates with a physics degree earn more due to their highly transferable and valued skill set.

Course content

Section 1: Mechanics

  • Maths help
  • Velocity and acceleration
  • Summing forces and the principles of moments
  • Newton’s laws and the equations of motion
  • Resolving forces and projectiles
  • Work, energy and power
  • Momentum
  • Summary

Section 2: Materials

  • Maths help
  • Fluids, density and upthrust
  • Liquids in motion and viscosity
  • Hooke’s Law
  • Young Modulus, stress and strain
  • Summary

Section 3: Waves

  • Maths help
  • Introduction to waves
  • Phase and the superposition of waves
  • Diffraction and interference
  • Refraction and total internal reflection
  • Polarisation
  • Wave-particle duality and photoelectric effect
  • Electron diffraction
  • Atomic spectra

Section 4: Electricity

  • Maths help
  • Electricity: the basics
  • Resistivity and resistance
  • Series and parallel circuits
  • The potential divider
  • E.m.f. And internal resistance
  • Electric power

Section 5: Experimental skills and consolidation

  • Maths help
  • Reducing errors
  • Accurate measurement
  • Describing an experiment
  • Refractive index in the water
  • Elasticity of a rubber band
  • Galileo’s experiment

Section 6: Further mechanics and electric fields

  • Maths help
  • Further momentum: collisions
  • Circular motion
  • Electric fields
  • Radial fields and Coulomb’s Law
  • Capacitors
  • Summary

Section 7: Magnetic fields and particle physics

  • Maths help
  • Electromagnetic effects
  • Probing matter
  • Particle accelerators and detectors
  • The Particle Zoo
  • Particle interactions
  • Summary

Section 8: Thermodynamics and nuclear decay

  • Maths help
  • Heat and temperature
  • Ideal gases
  • Nuclear radiation
  • Radioactive decay
  • Fission and fusion
  • Summary

Section 9: Oscillations, astrophysics and cosmology

  • Maths help
  • Simple harmonic motion
  • Energy transfers in simple harmonic motion
  • Resonance and damping
  • Gravitational fields
  • Stellar radiation and classification
  • Distances to the stars
  • The age and fate of the Universe
  • Summary

Section 10: Practical skills

  • Maths help
  • Home experiment 4: The motion of a pendulum
  • Home experiment 5: Measuring viscosity using the falling sphere
  • Home experiment 6: The specific latent heat of fusion of ice
  • Summary

Study International A level Physics with us and benefit from:

  • Flexible learning
  • Support from a personal tutor by email, phone or Skype
  • Any time enrolment
  • Our exam booking service
  • Assignments with tutor feedback
  • Ongoing support from Student Support
  • Forums to discuss your course with other students


Choose when and where you access your course, using learn@nec our 24/7 learning platform.

This easy-to-use learning platform includes interactive checkpoints, quizzes and activities to help you evaluate your progress.

Our course tutors

You’ll have access to support from a personal tutor. All NEC tutors are subject experts, with experience in supporting online learners.

Meet Julie who is just one of our first-class physics tutors:

“I love learning and I love inspiring other people to learn. I’ve worked with students from primary to undergraduate level as I have taught in schools and universities. Now, I specialise in home education and distance learning, teaching people in the UK and overseas. I have a degree in physics with astrophysics and a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) in physics, science and maths, both from the University of Birmingham, and an LLM in Law from the University of Leeds. A senior examiner for several exam boards, I am also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors.”

What you need to know

Exam board

  • Edexcel YPH11


  • Online learning with support from a personal tutor


  • Complete at your own pace
  • Approx. 300-360* hours plus time for completing assignments

*The specification suggests that 300 hours is needed. You’ll also need time to complete assignments and prepare yourself for exams and some courses like English literature involve a lot of reading. Everyone is different so it’s impossible to say with certainty how long a course will take you, but you should expect to spend longer than 300 hours. Taken across the length of time we recommend, this equates to approximately 5 hours per week. This will increase if you choose to take it over a shorter time frame or may be less if you are retaking a subject and have covered a lot of of the course content.


  • 11 assignments (one introductory) – these do not contribute towards your final grade
  • 16 core practicals


Set textbooks – included as a free ebook with your course:

  • Hudson, Miles (2020) Pearson Edexcel International AS Level Physics Student Book, VitalSource
  • Hudson, Miles (2020) Pearson Edexcel International A level Physics Student Book, VitalSource


  • An (I)GCSE or equivalent in both Maths and Physics or Double/Triple Science is recommended
  • Internet access
  • Computer operating system and browser to support learn@nec

What's included?

Our course fees are clear and transparent to help you plan for any additional costs.

Your course fee includes:

  • 24/7 access to learn@nec platform and resources
  • Expertly designed online course materials (including ebook versions of textbooks where specified) that you need to complete the course
  • Support from our Student Services team
  • Structured assignments carefully designed to prepare you for exams
  • Guidance from your tutor for up to 24 months from your date of enrolment
  • Extensive feedback to all assignments that will support your learning
  • NEA (coursework) marking and authentication
  • Marking for one examination paper (from a previous year)
  • Guaranteed exam place
  • NEC’s guide to study skills: How to Succeed as an Independent Learner
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar guide
  • Time planner template to help you plan your study timetable
  • Information on how to apply for exams

Your course fee does not cover:

  • Any fees in relation to exam entries or assessments
  • Centre Assessment Grades (CAG) in the event of exam cancellation
  • Recommended textbooks for additional reading or set texts
  • Equipment for core practicals

If you need more support, you can purchase:

  • Online tutorials – if you need help with a specific topic you can arrange a 30 minute or 1 hour tutorial
  • Additional past paper marking – to help with your exam preparation
  • Revision tutorial –  to plan your revision and explore revision techniques
  • Help with your UCAS application service

For further information on additional/optional support you can purchase, please visit our additional services page.

Exams and Assessment


Exams (six):

Unit 1, 2 and 3 (Paper 1, 2 and 3 below) are IAS Units. Units 4, 5 and 6 (Paper 4, 5 and 6 below) are IAL Units. Students must sit all six units to gain the A level qualification.

  • Paper 1: Mechanics and materials
  • Paper 2: Waves and electricity
  • Paper 3: Practical skills in Physics I
  • Paper 4: Further mechanics, fields and particles
  • Paper 5: Thermodynamics, radiation, oscillations and cosmology
  • Paper 6: Practical skills in Physics II

Additional support if you're under 18

We know that our younger students often need an extra helping hand with their studies. In our experience learning online works best when either a parent or guardian are involved. This is why NEC has developed our unique Progress Tracker to help you to support your child.

NEC’s Progress Tracker will allow you to easily track your child’s progress across their subjects and gain insight to how well they are doing through access to their assignment grades and tutor feedback.  

Read more about how we work with young students who are studying at home or through a school.

Arrange a callback with a member of our Course Advice Team

Would you like to talk to our Course Advice Team about the best route for you? Visit our Contact Us page, fill in the form and a member of the team will get back to you!