GCSE Physics (2017)

Please note: a Specification Addendum is in place for the 2020/2021 academic year for those candidates completing their course in Summer 2021. View Specification Addendum.

The CCEA GCSE Physics specification encourages students to appreciate the value of physics in their lives and in the world around them.

The specification helps students to develop confidence in exploring hypotheses, evidence, theories and explanations.

Practical science is a key focus, with the specification listing nine prescribed practicals that students must carry out during the course.

Our GCSE science specifications are the only ones to directly assess practical work, an important element of the subject, as part of a unit titled Practical Skills. There is also a written exam for each unit.

All parts of the assessment are externally marked.

This qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed through the Science and Technology Area of Learning.

This specification is unitised, so it’s possible to take part of the assessment before the end of the course.

The specification has three units:

  • Unit 1: Motion, Force, Density and Kinetic Theory, Energy, and Atomic and Nuclear Physics
  • Unit 2: Waves, Light, Electricity, Magnetism, Electromagnetism and Space Physics
  • Unit 3: Practical Skills

Skills developed through our GCSE Physics

This specification supports the Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 4 and gives students further opportunities to achieve their potential and develop skills for life. Along with developing the Cross-Curricular Skills and Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities, this specification helps students to develop specific scientific planning and investigative skills such as:

  • planning an investigation;
  • carrying out an experiment;
  • analysing experimental data; and
  • drawing conclusions from an experiment.

It also provides thorough preparation for those who plan to study physics or a related subject at a higher level. As well as deepening their subject knowledge and understanding, students have many opportunities to develop transferable skills like observation, modelling, enquiry, problem-solving and critical analysis.

For more information on this specification contact:

Gavin Gray
Subject Officer
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2270
Nola Fitzsimons
Specification Support Officer
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2235