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Physics GCSE

Pearson Edexcel

GCSE Physics

Enrol on 4 GCSEs and get the 5th free!

Get ahead in your studies with a helping hand from NEC. Use code 'FREEGCSE' at the checkout or contact our Course Advice Team.Offer ends 10th August 2020. T&Cs can be found here.

Start to unlock the mysteries of the universe and the world we live in by studying IGCSE Physics online.

From gravity to the Big Bang theory, physics helps us to understand and explain our physical world. If you’re curious about how things work and keen to develop your analysis, evaluation and problem-solving skills, this is the course for you!

Physicists study intriguing aspects of our physical world, including matter, space, time and energy. Their discoveries shape everyday life. GPS navigation, smartphones, electric cars, cancer treatment and space exploration … all these innovative creations rely on Physics. By studying IGCSE Physics online you’ll explore this fascinating subject through high quality resources, supported by an expert personal tutor. You’ll also put theory into practice by completing a series of practical experiments at home.

Why study Physics?

How is energy transferred and conserved? How does sound and light travel? What is radioactivity? If you’re curious about how things work, our IGCSE Physics online course opens up a whole world of exploration.

With NEC, you can progress at your own pace through a range of engaging topics and undertake practical experiments at home. Perhaps you’ll join previous NEC students who’ve gone on to study physics at A level and beyond?

Our Physics IGCSE course is ideal if you:

  • Are keen to understand how things work, through topics such as energy, radioactivity, electricity, astronomy, motion and forces.
  • Like exploring ‘big ideas’ that explain our world and universe.
  • Enjoy working scientifically: making predictions, testing theories and evaluating and communicating your findings.
  • Would like to build your observational, analytical and problem-solving skills, to improve your employability.

Future opportunities

  • Studying Physics or STEM subjects at A level or 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: Forces and motion, Part 1

  • Distance and speed
  • Speed and acceleration
  • Forces
  • Weight and force

Section 2: Forces and motion, Part 2

  • Momentum
  • Force and change in momentum
  • Moments
  • Centre of gravity
  • Reaction forces
  • Hooke’s law

Section 3: Electricity

  • Mains electricity
  • Series and parallel circuits
  • Resistance and Ohm’s law
  • Charge and current
  • Energy and voltage
  • Conductors and insulators
  • Electrostatic charge

Section 4: Waves and energy

  • Waves and energy transfer
  • Properties of waves
  • The electromagnetic spectrum

Section 5: Light and sound

  • Light waves
  • Refraction
  • Total and internal reflection
  • Sound
  • Frequency and loudness of sound

Section 6: Energy transfer

  • Energy transfer
  • Thermal energy
  • Work and energy
  • Potential and kinetic energy
  • Energy conservation and power
  • Energy sources

Section 7: Solids, liquids and gases

  • Density
  • Pressure
  • Solids, liquids and gases
  • Specific heat capacity
  • Ideal gases
  • Gas laws

Section 8: Magnetism and electromagnetism

  • Magnetism
  • Electromagnets
  • Electromagnetic forces
  • Electromagnetic induction
  • Transformers

Section 9: The atom

  • Atomic structure and radiation
  • Nuclear equations
  • Radioactive substances
  • Uses of radioactivity and the dangers
  • Fission
  • Fusion

Section 10: Space and cosmology

  • The universe and our solar system
  • The role of gravity
  • Stellar evolution
  • The Big Bang theory

Study IGCSE 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.

Your tutor

You’ll have access to support from a personal tutor. All NEC tutors are subject experts, with experience of 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 (Post Graduate 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 4PH1


  • Online learning with support from a personal tutor


  • Complete at your own pace
  • Approx. 120-150* hours plus time for completing assignments

*The specification suggests that 150 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 150 hours. Taken across the length of time we recommend, this equates to approximately 4 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
  • 13 core practicals


  • No additional set texts required


  • Internet access
  • Computer operating system and browser to support learn@nec

What's included?

Our course fees are open and access to help you plan for any additional costs.

Your course fee includes:

  • Access to learn@nec
  • All the course materials you need to complete the course
  • Support from a personal tutor for up to 18 months from your date of enrolment
  • Assignment marking
  • Guaranteed exam place
  • NEC’s guide to study skills: How to Succeed as an Independent Learner
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar guide
  • Time planner to help you plan your study timetable
  • Information on how to apply for exams

Your course fee does not cover:

  • Exam entry fees
  • Equipment for core practicals

Optional extras:

  • Additional past paper marking
  • Revision tutorial
  • Optional tutorial
  • Additional review

Exams and assessment

Exams (two):

  • 61% of marks  (2 hours)
  • 39% of marks (1 hour 15 minutes)

There is no non-exam assessment (NEA) for this course

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 the parents are involved, so when you enrol your child with NEC, you’ll have a unique set of services to help you to support your child.

This includes:

  • Your own log in to learn@nec to access the course so you can view the course materials and other information for yourself.
  • Access to your child’s gradebook to help you to monitor progress and provide appropriate and timely intervention and support
  • You’ll receive emails and forum posts so that you have all the examination and assessment updates/information provided by the NEC team
  • Dedicated Progress Portal Pages and targeted blogs with updates/information/help and advice on many aspects of home education.
  • Access to the Kudos career platform for young learners to explore career choices.

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