Physics International GCSE

Due to ongoing reforms, the final opportunity to sit exams for this specification is January 2019.

Physics is the science that deals with physical matter, motion, energy and the laws that govern the universe. Our home study IGCSE course introduces you to the key concepts of the science, taking a look at areas including heat, light, magnetism and electricity. The course is packed full of plenty of examples, diagrams and explanations to aid your understanding and help you visualise the topics as you work through them. If you want to study any science at a more advanced level, this course will give you a good foundation on which to build your knowledge. An IGCSE in physics is a good first step towards a career in areas including astronomy, environmental science and engineering.



Course requirements

You will need some basic maths for this course. This is an online course so you will also need access to the internet.

Duration of study

As a guideline, you should allow for between 120 and 150 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments. You will have tutor support for a period up until the final exam opportunity in January 2019.


This course follows specification 4PH0 from the awarding organisation Edexcel. Full details of the specification can be obtained from Edexcel's website.


Unit 1 - Introductory skills
  • Looking at reflection of light in flat mirrors
  • Finding out about the centre of gravity
  • Investigating the principle of moments
  • Experimenting with magnetism
  • Looking at measurements
  • Looking at elasticity
  • Graphs and tables
  • Finding out about electrostatics

Unit 2 - Electricity and magnetism
  • Magnets
  • Magnetic fields
  • Electrostatics
  • Basic electricity

Unit 3 - Wave motion, optics and sound
  • Wave properties
  • Properties of light: reflection
  • Properties of light: refraction

Unit 4 - Forces and motion
  • Speed and velocity
  • Acceleration
  • Forces
  • Elasticity
  • Stability and centre of gravity
  • Astronomy

Unit 5 - Energy resources and energy transfer
  • Energy and energy transfer
  • Major sources of energy
  • Matter: solids, liquids and gases
  • Kinetic theory

Unit 6 - Wave motion, optics and sound 2
  • Sound
  • The electromagnetic spectrum

Unit 7 -: Energy resources and energy transfer 2
  • Conduction, convection and radiation
  • Boiling and evaporation

Unit 8 - Electricity and magnetism 2
  • Measurement of resistance
  • Electromagnetism, the electric bell and switches
  • Transmission of signals
  • Electromagnetic induction: generators

Unit 9 - Atomic physics
  • Atoms and isotopes
  • Radioactivity
  • Uses of radioactive substances
  • Nuclear power

Unit 10 - Forces and motion 2
  • Friction, braking, terminal velocity and momentum
  • Pressure
  • Adding vectors

Unit 11 - Electricity and magnetism 3
  • The transformer and mains electricity
  • The cost of using electricity

Exams and assessment

Two exams:
  • 2 hours, 67% of marks
  • 1 hour, 33% of marks

Non-exam assessment (NEA):
  • None


Assignments do not contribute towards your final grade but provide you with an opportunity to submit work to your tutor for marking and feedback. This will help you to gauge your progress as you work through the course.

This course has:
  • 1 introductory assignment
  • 15 assignments

Set texts and resources

There are no additional set texts.

Using learn@nec

Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:

Operating systems:
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or later
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
  • iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser

  • Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari 6 or later
  • Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)

learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.

How to enrol

There are several ways to enrol with NEC:
  • Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above.
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team.
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

Paying in instalments

It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative example:
Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months
  0% (fixed)

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.

Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to or visit
Including area code and country code (if outside of UK)

IGCSE Physics Course Sample

Thank you for your interest in this course.

Please fill out your details below, and you will receive an email containing a link to download the course sample.

What our students say...

"Studying with NEC prepared me very well for the exams, especially seeing that I completed the course in six months! It was a very convenient way of obtaining a qualification with a good grade, particularly now that few colleges offer part-time academic courses. Plus, you can take them over a short period of time."
— Kim Chappell