Chemistry is often termed the central science because of its important role in connecting many different fields and thus A level Chemistry is one of the most highly regarded subjects that you have the option of choosing. It is a subject well suited to able students with a keen interest in science as it contains a fascinating and highly challenging mix of topics that require and develop a variety of skills that are valued in many health-related and industrial sectors.
What you will study
The course consists of topics covering four of the main branches: organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry which you study over two years. The first year expands on base knowledge from GCSE level such as kinetics and bonding whilst introducing new concepts such as detailing the exact mechanisms of reactions that take place on the molecular level. The second year begins to look at the question of why reactions only happen under certain conditions by introducing thermodynamics, the properties of transition metals and further reactions involving many more organic functional groups. Chemistry at A level is a very concise science with a fair amount of mathematical content and is a large step up from GCSE as the emphasis is much more on understanding and being able to answer the question 'why?' rather than simple recall.
How you will learn
You will have 2 classes per week (3hr and 2hr session) to cover the theory with various activities taking place within that time such as practicals, lectures with regular Q&A, peer tutoring using white boards and quiz games. Throughout the course your level of attainment will be gauged by regular tests and homework assignments. Mock exams will take place at the halfway and pre-exam points to give an overall reflection of your progress as a whole whilst the main graded exams will be at the end of the course.
Throughout the course your level of attainment will be gauged by regular tests and homework assignments. AS exams (2 papers - 1.5 hours each) will be taken at the end of the first year of the course. A-Level exams (3 papers - 2 hours each) will take place at the end of the second year of the course. 20% of the examination marks will be awarded for mathematical skills and 15% will be awarded for questions based upon the compulsory practical element of the course.
5 GCSEs at A* to C or 9-4 including English at grade 4 (C) and Maths at 6 (B) or above.
Core and Additional Science at grade B/B, or separate sciences at grade B/B/C, including grade B in Chemistry.
A level Chemistry is an essential qualification for many universities to study in the following areas: Medicine, Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Pharmacy and Materials/Nanoscience. It is also highly valued for entry to the following: Medical Sciences, Zoology, Environmental Studies and Engineering (civil, mechanical or aeronautical).
Chemistry is regarded as a 'facilitating subject' which will increase your chances of progression to a Russell Group University.
Careers are possible in a variety of fields: medicinal, biochemistry, forensics, analytical chemistry, patent law, chemical engineering, pharmaceutical, dentistry, environmental chemistry or in unrelated fields such as accountancy, finance and investment analysis, law, sales and marketing, consultancy.