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Should I Take GCSE Physics?

19th October 20

Studying GCSE Physics is your first step into a wide-ranging area of science. In Physics, you are studying the entire universe and all that is within it. From quantum theory to cosmology, Physicists seek to explain the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural and man-made world.

They examine matter in its motion and behaviour, through space and time, and the ways energy and force relate. In doing so, Physics has become the basis for most modern technology, such as that used in scientific, engineering, medical research and development.

By studying GCSE Physics, you will learn start to understand how everything works, from can openers and cars to earthquakes and black holes. As Physics provides the fundamental connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.

To make this broad scope of scientific study more manageable, it is broken down into specific fields. Where Atomic Physicists research atoms, Astrophysicists will focus on stars, planets and galaxies. As an aspiring Physicist, you can learn about many fascinating areas before choosing the subdivision in which you will specialise.

No matter where you wish to focus, you will need to be determined and committed to learning. If you have an unquenchable thirst for complex concepts and are not satisfied with the unexplained, GCSE Physics could take you down a very stimulating path.

learndirect - Should I Take GCSE Physics? - Astrophysics

The Course

This GCSE Physics online course has been designed to provide you with the foundations of understanding the key theories and principals of Physics. Giving you the knowledge and skills you need to learn at A Level.

Throughout the course, you will examine energy, the particle model of matter, atomic structure, forces and the way in which they are connected. You’ll also look further afield by studying space and the stability of orbital motion.

After successfully completing the course, you will appreciate how matter, motion, space and time help us to understand how the universe behaves.

Following the study of a wide range of interesting subjects, there will be two exams in the form of paper assessments held in May/June:

Paper 1 – Allows you to demonstrate your understanding of energy, electricity, particle model of matter and atomic structure.

Paper 2 – Highlights your knowledge of forces, waves, magnetism and electromagnetism, along with space physics. It may draw on your understanding of energy changes and transfers due to heating, mechanical and electrical work and the notion of energy conservation from energy and electricity.

Both papers account for 50% of your GCSE and will be a mixture of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.  

learndirect - Should I Take GCSE Physics?  - Magnets

The Modules

When you enrol on your GCSE Physics course, you will be introduced to the core principles of the science including:


Energy changes in a system and the ways energy is stored before and after such changes, conservation and dissipation of energy, along with national and global energy resources.


Current, potential difference and resistance, series and parallel circuits, domestic uses and safety, energy transfers and static electricity.

Particle model of matter

Changes of state and the particle model, internal energy and energy transfers, particle model and pressure.

Atomic structure

Atoms and isotopes, atoms and nuclear radiation, hazards and uses of radioactive emissions, background radiation, nuclear fission and fusion.


Forces and their interactions, work done and energy transfer, forces and elasticity, moments, levers and gears, pressure and pressure differences in fluids, forces, motion and momentum.


Waves in air, fluids and solids, electromagnetic waves and black body radiation.

Magnetism and electromagnetism

Permanent and induced magnetism, magnetic forces and fields, the motor effect, induced potential, transformers and the National Grid.

Space physics

Solar systems, the stability of orbital motions, satellites and red-shift.

learndirect - Should I Take GCSE Physics?  - Waves

What You’ll Learn

Through studying GCSE Physics, you will develop your understanding of the core principles. It will also give you the chance to exercise more subject-specific skills in areas like astronomy, computational and experimental physics along with quantum mechanics. Should you wish to, you can progress and continue to develop these by studying Physics at A Level and perhaps further specialist study at university level.

Alongside your academic skills, you will build a range of transferrable skills that will be desirable to both technical and non-technical employers.

Taking a pragmatic and analytical approach to solving problems, scrutinising complex issues, building logical arguments and conveying multifaceted ideas, not to mention planning, performing and reporting on experiments, are all very practicable and desirable traits in business environments.


Where You Can Go with GCSE Physics

Many people who study Physics go onto explore it further at university. Following this, some graduates complete a teaching qualification like a PGCE so they can teach the subject, or they undertake a PhD to embark on a career in research science.

For those entering the job market after graduation, there are both jobs that specifically require Physicists to those with skills in Physics. The job opportunities available to you are therefore diverse and plentiful.

Roles related to Physics qualifications include:

  • Academic Researcher
  • Acoustic Consultant
  • Astronomer
  • Clinical Scientist, Medical Physics
  • Geophysicist
  • Higher Education Lecturer
  • Metallurgist
  • Meteorologist
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Radiation Protection Practitioner
  • Research Scientist (Physical Sciences)
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Sound Engineer
  • Technical Author

You also have the option to move into careers outside of science. With your ability to ‘think big’ and comprehend a host of influencing factors, Physics graduates often secure top management and policy positions. Areas like banking, finance, software, computing and consultancy industries all valuing skills from physics.

learndirect - Should I Take GCSE Physics?  - Become a Physicist

Why Study GCSEs Online?

Having the option to take your GCSE Physics online allows you to indulge your passion for science while keeping to your existing commitments. You won’t have to face a classroom or have to learn at the pace of others. Distance learning lets you do so at your own pace, from the comfort of your own home.

Our online courses are dynamic and engaging, with a wide variety of materials. What’s more, you will have a dedicated tutor assigned to you, to ensure you have all the help and assistance you need. Just reach out if you have any questions! You can contact them and access all the course materials from within the online portal.  

With everything accessible online, there is no need for term dates or timetables. The only deadline you need to bear in mind is your exams. Outside of this, you have the freedom to complete your work as quickly as you like. So, if you plan to move onto A Level and university level study, your route is that much shorter in getting there.

Whether it’s higher education or upskilling for a career you’re after, GCSEs are a great place to start. Simply choose the online course that best meets your goal and enrol online to start studying right away.

learndirect is a leading UK online course provider. Find out more about our GCSE Physics course by clicking the link below.

learndirect - Should I Take GCSE Physics?  - Study GCSE Physics Online

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