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British Physics Olympiad (BPhO)

British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad (BAAO)


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We work to encourage the study of Physics and recognise excellence in young physicists.

There are five competitions organised through two strands:

British Physics Olympiad (BPhO)

British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad (BAAO)

Top news

We made it to the Royal Astronomical Society’s News as well: https://www.ras.org.uk/news-and-press/2696-uk-team-win-2-silver-medals-in-astronomy-olympiad

BAAO 2015:

UK team won 2 Silver Medals at our first participation in the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (http://ioaa2015.org). The Olympiad is an annual international competition for secondary school pupils from around the world, in the fields of Astronomy and Astrophysics. This year was the 9th edition and it was organised in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia between 26 July and 4 August, with 210 students competing from 41 countries. The UK team led by Sandor Kruk (Merton College, Oxford Astrophysics) and Charles Barclay (Marlborough College) entered the competition for the first time and achieved outstanding results through William McCorkindale (Silver Medal), Bob Cliffe (Silver Medal) and Rizwaan Mohammed. Their performance placed UK 9th in the medal table, out of 41 countries, after three tough rounds: Observations, Theory and Data Analysis. The top three countries were India, Iran and Indonesia. It was a truly impressive event that took Astronomy beyond the boundaries of humanity and culture, with the opening and closing ceremonies held at the majestic temples of Borobudur and Prambanan.




The UK team for the 9th Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics. From left to right, Charles Barclay, William McCorkindale, Bob Cliffe, Rizwaan Mohammed and Sandor Kruk.


IPhO 2015: The BPhO team achieved Two silver and Three bronze medals in the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO). Well done team! Read more about their trip here.

British Team 

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Competition dates for 2015-16

Experimental Project 

From Fri 1st June 2015

A2 Challenge

From Mon 14th September 2015

British Astronomy & Astrophysics A2

From Mon 14th September 2015

BPhO Round 1

Fri 13th November 2015

British Astronomy & Astrophysics

Mon 18th January 2016

BPhO Round 2

Mon 25th January 2016

Physics Challenge 

Fri 4th March 2016

AS Challenge

Fri 11th March 2016


Register at least one week before the competition dates.



IsaacPhysics.org is a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) to develop problem solving skills. It has levels 1 – 6 which will provide sixth formers with challenges that will suit every student who wishes to show initiative and get ahead. Teachers will also find the materials can be used to engage their students and details of courses are provided for CPD. Have a look. If you want to move ahead then IsaacPhysics.org is it.

Resources (Question Bank and Leaflets): We have organised some of problems by topic. Visit our Question Bank page for more information. Also visit here for our leaflets and featured questions. 

Two free entries: This year we are able to offer two free entries for all non-fee paying schools, due to sponsorship from a private donor, which has been allocated to BPhO to widen participation. Order your free papers through the online store.

Teachers event: (New) additional workshop planned this year. Sign-up to our mailing list for notifications about upcoming dates and visit here for more information about last year's event.

"Really enjoyed the challenge, I wish I had more real life problems like that to solve in physics"