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An Overview Of The Curriculum

The Physics curriculum in NUS High School spans 6 years and is divided into three key stages – the Foundation, Advancement and Specialisation Years.

Foundation modules (Year 1 & 2) are designed with a broad conceptual approach to ensure that students receive strong foundational grounding in the fundamental concepts and principles such as motion, conservation of energy and electricity. A wider scope is adopted with less emphasis on math-based problems so that it allows greater mastery of these concepts.

In Advancement Years (Year 3 & 4), the topics covered in the foundational modules are revisited with greater rigor using a mathematical approach involving the use of tools such as algebra and trigonometry. Greater emphasis is placed in these modules on problem-solving techniques and analytical approaches to physical situations. Students, who intend to pursue Major with Honours in Years 5 & 6, should opt for the Acceleration Track from Year 3 Semester 2 onwards.

The Specialization Years (Year 5 & 6) modules build on those in the earlier years, extending study in mechanics and electromagnetism through the use of calculus. The focus is on deepening students’ understanding and extending their learning through greater analytical and mathematical sophistication, as well as raising the standard of their problem-solving abilities through calculus applications.

Besides the core modules, the department offers a wide range of Elective & Enrichment modules which are intended to bring students to the next level of interest and passion in Physics. By going beyond the fundamentals, these modules will allow for students to pursue their passion and interest in areas such Robotics, Computational Physics and Astronomy.

The Department offers both Major in Physics and Major with Honours in Physics. A summary of the required modules are given in the Tables below. To qualify for reading a Major with Honours in Physics, students have to achieve consistently good results in their Core modules.

Students taking Major in Physics normally sit for AP Physics B in Year 6, while students taking Majors with Honours will sit for AP Physics B in Year 5 and AP Physics C in Year 6. 

The Department follows the general school policies on curriculum and assessment. For more details, please refer to the school curriculum framework.

The Department follows the general school policies on Exemption and Acceleration of Modules. Interested students should approach the Head of Department for details on these matters.