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A-Level Physics Practical Days

a male student sits at a lab bench looking at a piece of experimental equipment on the bench.

Schools can bring A-level Physics students to our First Year Teaching Labs to carry out a practical experiment using an oscilloscope.

Students will experience life as an undergraduate physics student, exploring the campus and speaking to current staff and students in the School of Physics and Astronomy.

The practical days will take place between 9:30 and 13:15 (14:45 with campus tour) on:

  • Tuesday 9 April
  • Thursday 11 April [full]
  • Tuesday 16 April [full]
  • Thursday 18 April [full]

They are offered free of charge and participants will need to bring their own lunch if staying on campus for a tour after the practical.  We can accommodate groups of up to 50 pupils.  If you plan on bringing a smaller group of students, you may be paired up with another instituion/school if the numbers work out.

Schedule for the A-level Physics Practical Day

09:30 Arrival and registration
09:45 Welcome and introduction
10:15 Lab practical session with break
13:15 Evaluation and departure OR lunch if you have booked a campus tour
14:00 [Optional] Student Q&A with campus tour
14:45 Evaluation and departure

Oscilloscope Skills Summary

During the practical session students will use a sinusoidal signal from a frequency generator to investigate the functions of a digital oscilloscope, including the time-base and trigger functions.

Students will then split the signal from the frequency generator through a differentiating box (containing an RC circuit) to investigate the dual signal functions of the oscilloscope. Here they will measure the phase shift and amplitude differences between the two inputs and compare this with the expected value.

Finally, students will use the oscilloscope to measure the potential difference across a capacitor while is it charging/discharging in order to determine the time-constant of the capacitor circuit.

As well as meeting the Ofqual Physics A level practical requirement ‘use signal generator and oscilloscope, including volt/division and time-base’, students will also get to experience what it is like to undertake practical work in a university physics laboratory.

Teachers are fully responsible for teaching the practical to their students.  The University is providing the facilities, equipment and lab script.

Bookings are now closed.

What are the requirements for the Practical Day?

Participants must be in A-level and studying A-level Physics.

All visitors must abide by our health & safety procedures. Personal protective equipment will be provided.

Where does the Practical Day take place?

Activities will be held in the First Year Teaching Labs in the School of Physics and Astronomy on the University of Leeds campus.

You can view the facilities here: 

When do I recieve this risk assessment?

The risk assessment will be emailed along with arrival information.

Can we park on campus?

There is limited parking for minibuses on campus, however, we may be able to accomodate you if you give enough notice.  There is no coach parking available.

What is the Cancellation Policy?

This event is usually over-subscribed therefore we ask that you only request the number of places you can fill. Schools that cancel at short notice, or bring significantly fewer pupils than booked may be excluded from future events.

Please review our Cancellation Policy prior to confirming your attendance.

What is the Participant Code of Conduct?

Please review our Participant Code of Conduct prior to confirming your attendance.