This is a demanding course, aimed at a fairly high academic level. While support is made available throughout the course there is an expectation that students are reading around subject material and developing their knowledge independently.
Why study this subject at A-Level?
Chemistry is an essential component of many allied vocations and is compulsory for chemical engineering, pharmacy, medicine and veterinary science. Students also go on to study pure and applied chemistry at university. This leads to careers in scientifically-related fields or careers in management and finance.
Summary of the course
Delivery of the content of the specification will involve four double lessons a week in both Year 12 and Year 13. This will be shared equally by two teachers. Practical work forms an important part of the course and a minimum of one lesson each week is used for experiments.
In each year three theoretical areas will be studied together with all relevant practical skills.
In Year 12 we will study:
- Physical Chemistry – including atomic structure, amount of substance, bonding, energetics, kinetics, chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier’s principle, oxidation, reduction and redox equations.
- Inorganic Chemistry – including periodicity, Group 2 (the alkaline earth metals), and Group 7 (the halogens)
- Organic Chemistry – including an introduction to organic chemistry, alkanes, halogenalkanes, alkenes, alcohols and organic analysis.
In Year 13 we will study:
- Physical Chemistry – including thermodynamics, rate equations, equilibrium constant (Kc) for homogeneous systems, electrode potentials and electrochemical cells, acids and bases.
- Inorganic Chemistry – including properties of period 3 elements and their oxides, transition metals and reactions of ions in aqueous solutions.
- Organic Chemistry – including optical isomerism, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and their derivatives, aromatic chemistry, amines, polymers, amino acids, proteins and DNA, organic synthesis, NMR spectroscopy and chromatography.
How is the qualification assessed?
- Paper 1 2 hours 35% of total A level
- Paper 2 2 hours 35% of total A level
- Paper 3 2 hours 30% of total A level
Throughout the course, practical activities are assessed towards a practical skills endorsement. At least 15% of the marks for A-Level Chemistry are testing the knowledge and skills gained from undertaking the practicals. At least 20% of the marks will require the use of maths skills. These will be applied in the context of chemistry and will be at least the standard of Higher Tier GCSE Mathematics.