Why Study The Subject
If you enjoyed the Chemistry units of your GCSE course and want to know more about these topics in greater depth and complexity then this may be the course for you.
There are a number of skills that are developed such as:
- How to collect data and assess it
- How to investigate facts and use deduction
- How to put your point of view effectively
- How to work as a team to achieve results
Students Suited To The Course
If you enjoy problem solving and having an analytical mind then this course would suit you. You need to be confident about undertaking practical work and understand that there is a significant mathematical component to the course.
What Other Subjects It Combines Well With
Students who take Chemistry A Level often combine it with a wide range of subjects. However, Mathematics, Biology and Physics all work particularly well in combination with Chemistry.
Trips and visits, STEM challenges, Science Week.
The course is split into nineteen discrete topic areas. In Year 12, students will build on what was learnt at GCSE and then this is developed further in Year 13. Practical work is undertaken throughout both years. Students will concentrate on developeing synoptic skills in Year 13, which allow students to draw on two or more different topics in order to answer an essay type exam question.
- Topic 1: Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table
- Topic 2: Bonding and Structure
- Topic 3: Redox I
- Topic 4: Inorganic Chemistry and the Periodic Table
- Topic 5: Formulae, Equations and Amounts of Substance
- Topic 6: Organic Chemistry
- Topic 7: Modern Analytical Techniques I
- Topic 8: Energetics I
- Topic 9: Kinetics I
- Topic 10: Equilibrium I
- Topic 11: Equilibrium II
- Topic 12: Acid-base Equilibria
- Topic 13: Energetics II
- Topic 14: Redox II
- Topic 15: Transition Metals
- Topic 16: Kinetics II
- Topic 17: Organic Chemistry II
- Topic 18: Organic Chemistry III
- Topic 19: Modern Analytical Techniques II
There are three papers consisting of a range of multiple choice, short answer and longer answer questions:
Paper 1: 1 hour 45 minutes long (90 marks) with 30% weighting
Paper 2: 1 hour 45 minutes long (90 marks) with 30% weighting
Paper 3: 2 hours 30 minutes long (120 marks) with 40% weighting. This paper includes synoptic questions that may draw on two or more of the different topics listed.
There is no coursework, but there is a practical component to the course. Students are expected to complete specific core practicals with practical-based questions also in the exams. There is also a teacher-assessed practical competency. This is reported alongside the A Level grade, but does not count towards the grade. 20% of the assessment will be also assessing mathematical skills.
GCSE Grade 7 in Chemistry or grade 7 in the Chemistry paper for GCSE Combined Science with grade 5 in Mathematics and in English Language.
Chemistry is a great choice of subject for people who want a career in health and clinical professions, such as medicine, nursing, biochemisty, dentistry or forensic science. It is also useful if you want to go into careers in areas of industry, such as petrochemical or pharmaceutical industries.