Porthcawl Comprehensive School / Ysgol Gyfun Porthcawl


Mr S Blanche (Teacher in charge)

Electronics is not taught at key stage 3 but is an option choice for GCSE and sixth form.

Key Stage 4

Electronics GCSE (Modular)

The Electronics option is designed for pupils who have a serious interest in applying Mathematics, Physics and Computing in the real world. The course is practically based with pupils gaining insight and understanding into how electronic circuits work, are designed and manufactured.

Electronics is a modular course and culminates with a Year 11 project which must be designed and manufactured by the pupil and is worth 25% of the final GCSE mark.

Subject Content

  • Unit 1 – 35%, Discovering Electronics
  • Unit 2 – 40%, Applications of Electronics (June, Year 11)
  • Unit 3 – 25%, Project

Career Opportunities

This course marries extremely well with Maths, Physics and Computing and is useful in promoting to degrees in Engineering or Computing based disciplines as well as providing a good grounding into how everyday electronic systems such as AM radios really work. Career opportunities for someone who has some knowledge of electronic design are boundless in South Wales with the likes of Sony UK, Panasonic, Grundig, Ford and Newbridge Networks all thriving on the M4 corridor.

Key Stage 5


Course Details

Qualification Level: AS & A Level
Awarding Body: WJEC
QAN Ref. No. - AS Level: 500/2606/9
QAN Ref. No. - A Level: 500/2796/7

Course Content

The AS Electronics course is taught from first principles consisting of two main strands of technology, analogue and digital electronics. Initially students discover the basic principles of electricity and its effects on electronic components. On the sound understanding of these principles pupils design simple power supplies, timing and switching circuits. Digital aspects of the course are introduced initially with the function of basic logic gates leading to the development of logic systems design and sequential logic. Specific Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems are used to develop real life practical solutions reinforcing students' knowledge. The course leaves pupils with a sense of satisfaction and achievement.

The A2 Electronics course builds directly on to the knowledge gained at AS Level. Students learn the concepts of analogue and digital communication systems, developing understanding of the wide range and practical uses through circuit design including signal conversion systems, instrumentation systems and audio systems. The final year project considers industrial needs and incorporates some of the knowledge acquired throughout the two years. Students build and test an electronic system of their own design documenting its function and usage. The course prepares pupils for the way forward into the electronics industry.

Assessment Procedure

The course follows a linear structure with the assessment criteria below:

GCE AS Electronics

Component 1
External Examination: Summer - 80% of qualification

Component 2
Coursework: Internally assessed, externally moderated - 20% of qualification

GCE A Level Electronics

Component 1
External Examination: Summer - 40% of qualification

Component 2
External Examination: Summer - 40% of qualification

Component 3
Coursework: Internally assessed, externally moderated - 20% of qualification

Entry Requirements

The AS Electronics course assumes no prior knowledge in Electronics.

Entry to the AS course requires students to have GCSEs in Maths, English and Science, preferably at Grade C or above.


Related degree course, further vocational qualifications, employment in electrical/electronic engineering industry.

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