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Level: Advanced (Level 3)Awarding Body: AQA

Why study Chemistry?

Chemistry is the study of the properties and reactions of materials. It is sometimes called a central science, because it links the other sciences to each other, such as biology, physics, geology and environmental science.

Chemistry is a challenging but rewarding subject at A level. It is also one of the ‘facilitating’ subjects for university entry, which will open a wide range of options for progression to degree level. A level Chemistry will build on the ideas you have already developed at GCSE about structure, bonding and properties of materials.

Chemistry is taught through problem-solving activities that will develop your analytical and evaluative skills. Most Chemistry students progress onto a science degree with a substantial amount of chemistry content.

What can it lead to?

Chemistry offer the opportunity to learn by the development of transferable skills…skills that can be used in many other disciplines.  Our students generally progress onto a wealth of scientific based careers. Chemistry has strong links with biology so many aspire to the field of medicine through a variety of routes; pharmacy is very popular, as is the biomedical sciences. With those of a more mathematical background chemical engineering has proved a very popular choice at university. Examples of progression are:

Medicine/Biomedical Sciences                                    Chemical Engineering    

Pharmacy                                                                     Pharmacology

Biochemistry                                                                 Biomedical Engineering

Nutritional Science                                                        Nursing

It is a testimony to the skills developed at A level chemistry that past students who return to speak at college always reinforce the support that this has provided in their university studies and beyond.

How is the course organised?

A Level Chemistry (Specification Number 7405)

Duration: Two Years

The course content is divided into Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.  Practical skills are developed and assessed across all these Chemistry areas and you can expect to complete one practical activity per week, on average.  Students use lab books to keep record of their practical work.  The lab- book constitutes part of the evidence that counts towards your practical endorsement at the end of the two years. 

Mathematical and literacy skills are integral to the delivery of the course and will be developed over the course.

 

How is the course assessed?

At the end of two years you will sit three exam papers:

A level Chemistry.

Paper1: (120mins) Weighting: 35%

Physical and Inorganic Chemistry

Paper 2: (120mins) Weighting: 35%

Physical and Organic Chemistry

Paper 3: (120mins) Weighting: 30%

Synoptic

Practical endorsement:

Students who demonstrate competency with a range of practical skills and techniques, will gain a practical endorsement. There is a minimum of 12 practical tasks that contribute to the assessment of practical skills over the 2 year course.

What do I need to qualify for this course?

Within the general requirement of 6 C’s at GCSE, for A Level Chemistry you will need

  • An average GCSE score of 5.6 or more (where C=5, B=6, A=7, etc)
  • 66 in Double Science  or minimum 66 if Triple Science with 6 in Chemistry 
  • Maths grade 6 
  • English grade 5 

Particular skills and experience that might be helpful: Use of a scientific calculator

Need for particular materials/equipment: Students must provide, and use, a hard backed course folder to compile notes and homework activities

Who are the teachers?

Chemistry is taught by qualified staff that not only have extensive knowledge of the subject, but also valuable industrial experience. Teaching at this level requires a thorough familiarisation with the concepts, themes and developments in terms of both structure and content. All staff are qualified to at least graduate standard in the specialist subjects and all are fully familiar with the content involved. Many are subject examiners so have developed a thorough knowledge of how the A level Chemistry questions are set, marked and modified.

What do students say about the course?

“I enjoyed the practical activities, they made chemistry come to life!”  

“In chemistry lessons the topics are always linked to the real world, such as global warming and the ozone layer. It makes it really interesting and relevant” 

In chemistry we get to explore different topics and the practicals are always enjoyable and they help to understand the theory

Chemistry is a challenging but rewarding subject to learn. It allows you to choose any types of courses in the future because you develop a wide range of skills that you can apply to other subjects. I am very glad I chose Chemistry!

Extra Curricular

For further information on extra-curricular projects and trips, please contact the Head of Department Ms R Perez on rpe@stcharles.ac.uk.