What does the course involve?
This Chemistry course aims to develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other, develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods, develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills, develop students’ interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject and understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society
How will you learn?
Much of the course is taught but students will also carry out a variety of practical tasks. Students’ independent study will focus on consolidation of the work covered through a range of review, extension and preparation tasks set by staff.
What will you learn?
AS level: Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations, amount of substance, acid–base and redox reactions, electrons, bonding and structure, the periodic table and periodicity, group 2 and the halogens, qualitative analysis, enthalpy changes, reaction rates and equilibrium, basic concepts, hydrocarbons, alcohols and haloalkanes, organic synthesis and analytical techniques (IR and MS)
A level: Reaction rates and equilibrium, pH and buffers, enthalpy, entropy and free energy, redox and electrode potentials, transition elements, aromatic compounds, carbonyl compounds, carboxylic acids and esters, nitrogen compounds, polymers, organic synthesis, chromatography and spectroscopy (NMR)
What Exams and Coursework is involved?
For AS level Chemistry there are two papers which each test the entirety of the AS course, with each being equally weighted.
For the A level Chemistry there are three papers. The first two each contribute 37% and cover aspects of the first and second year of the course. The final exam makes up 26% of the final grade, and covers all material from both years of the course.
The Chemistry A level, but not the AS, requires students to have carried out a minimum of 12 practical activities which will contribute towards the Practical Endorsement, a separate grading to the exam grade, with either a ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’. In both the AS and A level understanding of practical skills will be tested in the exams and make up 15% of the marks.
At both AS and A2 the questions papers also assess mathematical skills, which will make up 20% of the marks.
What are the entry requirements?
At least two grade Bs in Science GCSEs, or grade B in GCSE Chemistry. 6 in GCSE Mathematics is needed; it is also recommended that students continue with some form of Mathematics eg. Level 3 Core Maths if not taking Mathematics. Please note that GCSE Applied Science is not suitable for entry to Science A level.
What could you do after completing the course?
Chemistry A level opens many doors. Medical, veterinary, dental and related careers generally require A2 Chemistry. Other areas are chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, chemical engineering and many other subjects. The skills developed doing A Level Chemistry are eminently transferable.