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Chemistry is the study of substances: what they are made of, how they interact and what role they play in living things and other processes. In fact, chemistry is the study of all materials and is vital to every aspect of life. Chemistry is all around us, from the air we breathe to the food we eat and the clothes we wear. This A-level course is designed to enable learners to develop essential knowledge and an understanding of the main chemistry concepts, and the skills needed for the use of these in new and changing situations, as well as an understanding of the link between theory and practical application.
What will I study?
A-level Chemistry (Year 1 and Year 2):
Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry
- Practical skills assessed in a written examination
- Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement
Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry
- Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations
- Amount of substance
- Acid–base and redox reactions
- Electrons, bonding and structure
Module 3 – Periodic table and energy
- The periodic table and periodicity
- Group 2 and the halogens
- Qualitative analysis
- Enthalpy changes
- Reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative)
Module 4 – Core organic chemistry
- Basic concepts
- Alcohols and haloalkanes
- Organic synthesis
- Analytical techniques (IR and MS)
Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements
- Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative)
- pH and buffers
- Enthalpy, entropy and free energy
- Redox and electrode potentials
- Transition elements
Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis
- Aromatic compounds
- Carbonyl compounds
- Carboxylic acids and esters
- Nitrogen compounds
- Organic synthesis
How will I know how I am doing?
Year 1 is assessed by two written exams, both 90 minutes long. Both exams will cover modules 1–4.
Year 2 is assessed by three exams: two will be 135 minutes long and the other will be 90 minutes long. These exams will cover all six modules.
What do I need to join?
To study this course, you will have obtained a minimum of grade 7/A in GCSE Chemistry, 7–7/AA in Combined Science and 6/B in Mathematics.
The minimum entrance requirements for this course are 6–6/BB in GCSE Combined Science, plus a grade 6/B or better in GCSE Mathematics with an entrance test.
You will be required to do a minimum of 36 hours of work experience. This is usually completed in a week during your first year in term time, where you will have the opportunity to explore a career field which takes your interest. In the lead-up to this week, you will be asked to create an exciting CV during a group tutorial period. The aim of this activity is to give you an idea of what full-time employment is like and to help you think about which career you would like to follow.
What can I do next?
People who study chemistry can follow endless paths as the subject is so diverse and broad. Most students go to university in order to pursue a particular passion in chemistry; these routes include: analytical chemistry, research science, forensic science, toxicology, quality control and pharmaceuticals. Chemistry can take you in so many different directions and shows a level of understanding that employers value, due to the intense complexity of the subject.
Course information last updated: Thursday 15th April 2021 @ 8.30am (6 hours ago)