Educating concerned, informed, adaptable
members of the world community


All pupils study Physics, either as part of CCEA Double Award Science or as a separate Physics GCSE. All Physics classes are taught by the four specialist Physics teachers currently employed by Thornhill College.

The Department has a thriving Sixth Form with many girls going on to study A-level Physics. Pupils follow the CCEA Advanced Physics course at AS and A2 level. Our top students are frequently among the examining boards’ prize-winners.

 We also offer Astronomy as part of our 6th Form Enrichment programme, and we have a very high success rate in GCSE Astronomy examinations.

Our Approach

The courses are very hands-on, with practical sessions and teacher demonstrations during most lessons.

The courses of study are supported by our strong links with local industry, lectures by visiting speakers, and organised visits and competitions. Activities such as the Irish Physics Olympiad and the LEGO Robot competition are used to extend students’ abilities and interests. Students are also encouraged to attend external lectures, and to make use of Physics bursaries.

A-level Physics

There are three compulsory modules in Year 13 leading to an AS-Physics award. These are

  • Unit AS1 - Forces, Energy & Electricity
  • Unit AS2 - Waves, Photons & Medical Physics
  • Unit AS3 - Practical Techniques  (practical exam) 

There are also three compulsory modules in Year 14 leading to an A-level Physics award. These are

  • Unit A21- Momentum, Thermal Physics, Circular Motion, Oscillations and Atomic & Nuclear Physics
  • Unit A22 - Fields and Their Applications
  • Unit A23 - Practical Techniques (practical exam)

GCSE Physics

At GCSE Physics is taught by specialist teachers as a component of Double Award science.

Physics is also taught as an individual GCSE (Triple Award).

Teaching across the Physics Department is organised so that the students have common learning and experiences, irrespective of classroom teacher.



Physics (with Engineering)



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