Who is this course for?
Chemistry is a critical “A” level if you’re considering medicine, veterinary work or dentistry at university. It provides the basis for a whole host of different careers – whether designing chemical reactors for industry, working to protect the environment or developing new medicines and materials - a strong chemistry background is vital.
Chemistry is a popular science and we have excellent laboratory facilities. The facilities allow the students a wide variety of learning activities including formal lectures, practical sessions and group work.
Formal Entry Requirements
All students studying for A Level would be expected to have five GCSEs A*-C in academic subjects (of which two must be B grades) including GCSE English Language. We will count Level 2 Btec Diplomas towards this total, but only merits and distinctions will be counted and each diploma will count as one GCSE.
Additionally, you will need GCSE Double Science at BB or above, or GCSE Chemistry at B or above (not GCSE Applied Science) and GCSE Maths at C or above, plus a total GCSE point score of 30 in your best five academic subjects.
A* = 8 points, A = 7 points, E = 3 points. Btec Level 2 Diploma counted as one GCSE.
What does the course involve?
Chemistry can be studied in either your first or second year as an AS Level qualification or over two years as a full A Level.
AS Chemistry The first year of the course has three modules of study:
Unit 1 Foundation Chemistry – a detailed look at the structure of the atom, the bonding generated between atoms molecules and ions and their effect on the physical properties of materials. This unit also introduces organic chemistry and considers the alkanes as the first homologous series of the course.
Unit 2 Chemistry in Action - this unit covers aspects of physical, inorganic and organic chemistry. The unit includes an introduction to energy transfer during reactions, rates of chemical reaction, redox reactions and the reactions of group II and group VII elements.
Unit 3 Investigative and Practical Skills in AS Chemistry This unit formally assesses the practical skills gained during the study of units 1 and 2. There is continual assessment during practical sessions and a formal assessment with a written test.
A2 Chemistry The second year of the course has three modules of study which look in greater depth at the subjects introduced in year 1:
Unit 4 Kinetics, Equilibria and Organic Chemistry – a module which builds on the work begun in year 1. Further functional groups are included and the material is more quantitative in approach.
Unit 5 Energetics, Redox and Inorganic Chemistry – builds on the fundamentals of energy change and redox introduced in year 1. The inorganic chemistry section introduces the transition metals .
Unit 6 Investigative and Practical Skills - This unit formally assesses the practical skills gained during the rest of the course. There is continual assessment during practical sessions and a formal assessment with a written test.
How will I be assessed?
Both AS and A Level Chemistry are assessed through a series of written examinations, continuous practical assessment and an end of unit practical test. There are two written exams for each year and any of the units can be retaken if you don’t do as well as you had hoped.
Where can I go next?
Most A Level students who have studied Chemistry go on to university to study a wide range of courses such as veterinary science, biomedical sciences, physics, analytical chemistry and marine anthropology.
The skills you acquire as a chemist are useful in a wide range of careers. Apart from working in laboratory research and development, chemists are frequently employed in the financial sector, manufacturing industry, teaching and the law.