Chemistry offers the opportunity to explore further some of the wonders of the natural world. Through a combination of practical and theoretical investigation, it provides a basis in the basic principles that underpin Chemistry and applies them to the world and its resources. Chemistry is the gateway to many different career pathways, such as Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Science, Biochemistry, Engineering, Forensic Science and many others. It develops practical and analytical skills and provides opportunities for research into and evaluation of existing theories and techniques. In short, Chemistry is stimulating, challenging, satisfying and fun.
A good grounding in Chemistry is essential – preferably a grade 5/6 or above at GCSE – along with a lively curiosity and an active imagination. The course is intellectually stimulating and yet demanding. Students are expected to have a high level of motivation and self-discipline, plus the ability to work independently. Homework is set regularly in the form of experimental reports, research, essays, self-study units and exam questions.
AQA The qualification is linear with examinations occurring at the end of AS and A-level.
In Year 1 students study Physical Chemistry (structure, bonding, energetics, calculations from equations, kinetics, equilibria and redox); Inorganic Chemistry (periodicity, Group 2, and Group 7); and Organic Chemistry (Alkanes, Alkenes, Halogenoalkanes, Alcohols and Organic Analysis).
In Year 2 students study Physical Chemistry (Thermodynamics, Rate equations, Equilbrium constants, Electrochemistry and Acids and Bases); Inorganic Chemistry (Periodic Properties (Period 3), Transition Metals and Aqueous Ion Reactions); and Organic Chemistry (Optical Isomerism, Compounds with Carbonyl groups, Aromatic chemistry, Amines, Polymers, Amino Acids, Proteins, DNA, Organic Synthesis, and NMR spectroscopy).
|AS Level (1 Year)|
A2 consists of three written examination papers in June. They involve short and long answer questions, as well as multiple choice questions. During the years, practical and investigation skills are assessed both in general and through specific tasks.
Paper 1 – Foundation Chemistry: Physical Chemistry- Atomic Structure, Amount of substance- Equations and Calculations, Bonding, Energetics, Chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier’s principle, Oxidation, reduction and redox equations, Inorganic chemistry- Periodicity, Group 2, the alkaline earth metals, Group 7, The halogens, Practical skills.
AS is assessed with two written theory examination papers, sat in June, involving long and short answer questions, as well as multiple choice questions. Students carry out relevant practical work throughout the course but there is no longer a coursework component to the Chemistry courses. Relevant practical skills will be assessed in both the papers.
At least 15% of the overall assessment of AS Chemistry will assess knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to practical work. 20% of the overall assessment of AS Chemistry will contain mathematical skills equivalent to Level 2 or above.
|A-level (2 year)|
A-level Chemistry is assessed with three written examination papers, sat in June, at the end of the two years of studies. They involve short and long answer questions, as well as multiple choice questions. During the years, practical and investigation skills are assessed both in general and through specific tasks.
Paper 1 is a written exam: 2 hours • 105 marks • 35% of A-level Short and long answer questions – 105 marks
20% of the overall assessment of A-level Chemistry will contain mathematical skills equivalent to Level 2 or above. At least 15% of the overall assessment of A-level Chemistry will assess knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to practical work.
Where does it lead?
It can lead to a career in science or any science-related occupation. Also, the ability to demonstrate analytical and scientific thinking will be of value in many other career paths. Chemistry is helpful for; researchers, engineers, doctors, veterinary surgeons, geneticians, pharmacists, pharmacologists – the list is endless.