2018 will see the introduction on a new Physics syllabus for Year 11’s. This will be tested for the first time in 2019. This article will outline what the main changes are also highlight some of the key changes.

Why did we need a new syllabus?

The syllabus that will be tested for the final time in 2018 was first introduced in 2001. In 17 years science education has moved on as well as the requirements of Universities.

The syllabus update creates a more uniform approach to science inline with the National Curriculum as well as providing students the ability to learn Physics at a more deeper level. ‘Depth’ will be a common phrase used to describe this new syllabus.

What are the main changes?

Many people would say, has basic Physics really changed at all? Well the answer is no, Newton’s Laws haven’t changed, and neither has Einstein’s Theory of  Relativity (although we’ve had more confirmation recently of General Relativity).


The most obvious change is the names of the topics that will be taught. For instance in the old syllabus Preliminary (Year 11) students learnt a topic called ‘Electrical Energy in the Home’, this has now been replaced with a topic called ‘Electricity and Magnetism’. This is a great change, as now students, teachers, and others know exactly what will be discussed. The topics are now much more closely related to the terms / branches of physics that are taught in higher levels of physics.

Below is a table showing a comparison between the old topics and the new topics.


Another very important change is the removal of options.

Content Changes

The changes in content are not

Changes to the Physics Syllabus