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Chemistry - A level

Chemistry is an exciting subject, sometimes beyond what we can see and often beyond what we can even imagine or believe.

What will I learn?

A level chemistry builds upon the concepts learned at GCSE including atomic structure, the periodic table and chemical reactions. Organic chemistry is studied in more detail allowing students to appreciate the application of chemistry in synthesising new molecules, in drug development for example. The study of physical chemistry develops a better understanding of why chemical reactions happen; the importance of this in industrial applications is considered. Content covered includes:

Physical chemistry - topics include; atomic structure, amount of substance, energetics, thermodynamics (A level only), acids and bases (A level only).

Periodicity - topics include; group 2, group 7, the transition metals (A level only).

Organic chemistry - topics include; alkanes, alkenes, alcohols, optical isomerism (A level only), aromatic chemistry (A level only).

What skills do I need?

Throughout the year you will undertake a range of tasks. These will require you to:

  • Read around the subject and research given topics
  • Work in teams within and after lessons
  • Manage your own time
  • Solve problems

Entry requirements are decided with individual students once final GCSE results are known, but as a general rule:

  • GCSE Grade B (or better) in both additional and core science - Grade A (or better) in GCSE additional science is advisable.
  • For students intending to take the full two-year A level course, Grade Bs (or better) in both GCSE courses are advisable.

How is the course graded?

AS level A level
Paper 1 – 1 hour 30 minutes, 80 marks 50% of AS level assessing physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry and relevant practical skills. Paper 1 – 2 hours, 105 marks 35% of A level assessing physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry and relevant practical skills.
Paper 2 – 1 hour 30 minutes, 80 marks 50% of AS level assessing physical chemistry, organic chemistry and relevant practical skills. Paper 2 – 2 hours, 105 marks 35% of A level assessing physical chemistry, organic chemistry and relevant practical skills.
  Paper 3 – 2 hours, 90 marks 30% of A level. assessing any content, plus relevant practical skills.

What is next for me after this course?

A qualification in chemistry is recognised as being extremely important by employers and universities. Possible careers include: medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, science teaching and most forms of management.