Chemistry (A Level)


Why should I study A Level Chemistry?

This is a course which will challenge you and help you to understand the world around you. 

For example:

 Do you wonder what makes a fabric dye a certain colour and how it is attached to a fibre? 

You may have learnt that alkenes decolourise bromine water, but why and how does this happen? 

Our department is built around a team of very experienced and enthusiastic A Level Chemistry teachers and technicians, who run a busy programme of teaching, support and revision classes. There are also lots of online support materials provided. 

We also benefit from strong links with a number of university chemistry departments and a local analytical laboratory. 

The course involves a lot of practical work but there is no formal coursework component. You will however perform experiments in order to work towards the practical endorsement certificate.

Combining Chemistry with other subject areas:

Chemistry works particularly well in combination with biology, physics and mathematics (20% of questions are calculations!). As part of any programme of study it will certainly improve your skills in numeracy, practical work and logical thinking. 

Many Chemistry students will also take the opportunity to join the “Medics” programme in pursuit of careers in medicine and related fields, and to pursue a related Extended Project qualification in a topic linked to their intended career in their second year of study. There is also an opportunity to take part in activities such as the Cambridge University Chemistry Challenge.

Core Mathematics (Mathematical Studies) is a very useful complementary course for this subject and is strongly recommended as a further (4th) subject choice for students who are not taking A Level Mathematics or A Level Statistics options.  See the Core Mathematics subject page for further details (page 92 of the Prospectus).


Course Content 

The first year of the course consists of five topics: 

• Elements of life: Atomic structure, bonding and calculations. 

• Developing fuels: Energetics and organic. 

• Elements from the Sea: Redox and halogens. 

• The Ozone story: Radicals and CFCs. 

• What’s in a medicine? Organic and spectroscopy.


Progression onto Year 2 

Progression to the second year of this A Level course will be dependent on having made satisfactory progress in the first year of the course, including achieving at least an E grade in a formal late spring assessment, as well as the maintenance of a good level of attendance and commitment throughout the year.

Year 2 A Level topics: 

• The Chemical Industry: Equilibrium and kinetics. 

• Polymers and Life: Polyester and biological chemistry. 

• The Oceans: Solubility and pH calculations. 

• Developing metals: transition metals and electrochemical cells. 

• Colour by Design: aromatic compounds, dyes and organic synthesis. 

Further Information 

Students will need a scientific calculator and be required to complete multi step calculations. 

Although students will have access to the course textbook via an on-line e-book with associated learning resources, it is highly recommended that students also purchase the CGP OCR B level revision guide for each year of the course. This can be done through the college at the start of each year at a discounted price.


Minimum Entry Criteria

Standard College entry requirements (as detailed on page 12 of the Prospectus) and a minimum of:

 

GRADE 6

 

GCSE Mathematics

AND

 

GRADE 6

 

Both 1st and 2nd grade GCSE Combined Science

                              

OR

if triple Science is taken

 

GRADE 6

 

GCSE Chemistry (also with a 6 in either GCSE Biology or Physics)










Please note that GCSE Applied Science or Level 2 BTEC Science qualifications are not acceptable as alternative GCSE science qualifications for A Level Chemistry.


Assessment

At the end of year one there will be a written assessment consisting of multiple choice questions and a mix of short answer and extended response questions.

Progression onto Year 2 

Progression to the second year of this A Level course will be dependent on having made satisfactory progress in the first year of the course, including achieving at least an E grade in a formal late spring assessment, as well as the maintenance of a good level of attendance and commitment throughout the year.

Final Assessment at the end of Year 2

The A Level is entirely based on three written examination papers taken at the end of the second year and is based on both years’ work. 

What can I do after studying A Level Chemistry?

Chemistry can lead to a career in the chemical industry, management, medicine, paramedical services, veterinary medicine, nursing, pharmacy, teaching, conservation, environmental areas etc. 

Students also go on to pursue university courses of study in related subjects such as forensic science, biochemistry, environmental science and others.