Chemistry

A Level

Chemistry

Why should I study this course?

A Level Chemistry is an explosive, vibrant and lively subject which could provide the solution to your next big step. A qualification in Chemistry is an excellent base for a university degree in healthcare such as medicine, pharmacy and dentistry as well as the biological sciences, physics, mathematics, engineering, pharmacology and analytical chemistry.

Chemistry is also taken by many students as it helps you to develop an understanding of difficult concepts as well as transferable skills such as problem-solving, analysis and evaluation which are applicable to a wide range of subjects. It can lead to a range of career opportunities including chemical, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries and in areas such as forensics, environmental protection and healthcare. These skills are useful for many other areas, too, such as law, accountancy and other finance careers. You will also get the opportunity to participate in several curriculum enhancement activities such as talks and practical activities delivered by external speakers who are experts in their fields.

What will I study?

Year 1 units:

Module 1: Development of practical skills in chemistry
Chemistry is a practical subject and the development of practical skills is fundamental to understanding the nature of chemistry. Chemistry gives you many opportunities to develop the fundamental skills needed to collect and analyse empirical data. Skills in planning, implementing, analysing and evaluating will be assessed in the written papers.
Module 2: Foundations in chemistry
This module acts as an important bridge into A Level Chemistry from the study of chemistry within science courses at GCSE level. This module provides you with a knowledge and understanding of the important chemical ideas that underpin the study of A Level Chemistry.
Module 3: Periodic table and energy
The focus of this module is inorganic and physical chemistry, the applications of energy use to everyday life and industrial processes, and current environmental concerns associated with sustainability. This module provides you with a knowledge and understanding of the important chemical concepts in the study of inorganic and physical chemistry and the application of these concepts to industrial processes and technology, such as smart materials and nanotechnology.
Module 4: Core organic chemistry
This module introduces organic chemistry and its important applications to everyday life, including current environmental concerns associated with sustainability. The module provides you with a knowledge and understanding of organic chemistry and how this relates to the biological world and the manufacture of useful chemicals such as therapeutic drugs and sustainable materials.

Year 2 units:

Module 5: Physical chemistry and transition elements
This module extends the study of energy, reaction rates and equilibria, and the periodic table.  This helps us to understand some commercial and industrial, as well as environmental, aspects of the chemical world when we study how it might be possible to increase the yield, speed and atom economy of a reaction.
Module 6: Organic chemistry and analysis.
This module introduces several new functional groups and emphasises the importance of organic synthesis.  Here we study the properties of important classes of compounds and how the properties can be beneficial to us in the manufacture of therapeutic drugs, smart materials and the synthesis of novel compounds.  This module also adds NMR spectroscopy to the instrumentation techniques used in organic and forensic analysis.

Examination board

OCR

How is the course assessed?

You will take 3 examinations at the end of year two based on the full two years of work and a practical endorsement. These are the only examinations that count towards the final A Level grade.

What will the course prepare me for?

Chemistry is a necessity for the further study of chemistry, medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and chemical engineering. It is also an extremely well regarded qualification, showing that you have analytical skills and ability to develop complex ideas.  Chemistry is a facilitating subject which means that it is a subject that is highly valued by universities and employers.

Private study

It is expected that you complete 3-4 hours of Chemistry study per week in your own time. Homework is set on a weekly basis and is marked promptly, and there are regular assessments so that you always have a good understanding of your progress on the course. You will have an assessment folder so that you can review and evaluate your performance on the course. There is also a complete set of revision materials on the department Teams page which will be used in parallel with a wide variety of resources that your teacher will provide you with.

What materials will I need to provide?

Standard stationery items: a pen, a pencil a ruler, a notepad, and a scientific calculator.

How will I be taught?

You will have 5 hours of Chemistry on your timetable. The lessons have many creative ideas in them and there is a good mixture of individual work, paired work and group work. Lessons are practical and develop ideas from observations made during practical experiments. Students find the lessons interesting and useful - and that the teaching helps them make really good progress. iPads and Laptops are regularly utilised to enhance the learning experience and you are welcome to bring in your own Wi-Fi enabled devices subject to ICT Helpdesk approval.

This course is for you if...

...you are interested in chemistry or if you simply enjoy it! If you aim to progress on to university to study a scientific course, then A Level Chemistry will be a must-have requirement.

Your application starts here

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What are the course requirements?

F grades 9-4 at GCSE including:

  • Grade 5 in Maths
  • Grade 5 in Chemistry if separate sciences taken, or Grade 55 in Combined Science
  • Grade 4 in English.

If you are interested in taking this subject, we will arrange a meeting with an experienced subject counsellor who will help you to choose courses that best suit your ambitions and achievements.

All entry requirement details are correct at the time of publication; however, the College may need to make some changes in light of student demand, staff availability and external factors beyond the College's control.

What skills do I need?

  • A genuine interest in the subject and curiosity to find out what the universe is made of and how the building blocks interact with each other.
  •  It is advisable to do A Level Mathematics when studying A Level Chemistry.
  • Good time management – punctuality to lessons is important, as well as getting into good routines of doing homework so that it is handed in on time.
  • Good ICT skills – you will be expected to use kerboodle, Moodle, Twitter, Memrise and the internet to enhance your learning.
  • Determination and persistence – there will be times when you are likely to find the course difficult and it might take more time than you’re used to for a full understanding so patience will come in handy too!
  • Initiative – if you’re stuck, ask the Science department for some help. You will find the teachers approachable and always more than happy to help you!