What Will I Study?
The A-Level course is divided into 6 compulsory modules:
Module 1: Development of Practical Skills
Module 2: Foundations in Chemistry
- Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations
- Amount of substance
- Acid–base and redox reactions
- Electrons, bonding and structure
Module 3: Periodic table and Energy
- The periodic table and periodicity
- Group 2 and the halogens
- Qualitative analysis
- Enthalpy changes
- Reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative)
Module 4: Core organic Chemistry
- Basic concepts
- Alcohols and haloalkanes
- Organic synthesis
- Analytical techniques (IR and MS)
Module 5:Physical chemistry and transition elements
- Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative)
- pH and buffers
- Enthalpy, entropy and free energy
- Redox and electrode potentials
- Transition elements
Module 6:Organic chemistry and analysis
- Aromatic compounds
- Carbonyl compounds
- Carboxylic acids and esters
- Nitrogen compounds
- Organic synthesis
- Chromatography and spectroscopy (NMR)
The AS Course contains modules 1-4.
Learning will take place in many ways including:
- Independent learning including pre-reading to prepare for lessons and post lesson review and completion of booklets.
- Practical work
- Discusion with others
- Collaborative learning
- Problem solving
- Building models for structures
All resources used in lessons are put on to the college Moodle site, enabling learners to access resources at any time.
Throughout the course we will make use of both summative assessment (e.g. end of topic tests) and formative assessment (e.g. answering questions in class) to review your progress.
For A-level, there are three written exams in the summer of your second year:
- Paper 1: Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry 2h 15 min (37%)
- Paper 2: Synthesis and analytical techniques 2h 15 min (37%)
- Paper 3: Unified chemistry 1h 30 min (26%)
Practical skills are assessed in both written exams and through the practical endorsement. The practical endorsement is assessed throughout the course and is a awarded a pass or unclassified (separate to your final grade).
For AS, there are 2 written papers at the end of the year:
- Paper 1: Breadth in Chemistry 1h 30 min (50%)
- Paper 2: Depth in Chemistry 1h 30 min (50%)
Each year we have a number of students go on to university to study Chemistry or related degree courses such as Natural Sciences, Biochemistry or Chemical Engineering. Many students have been accepted to study at the top universities in the country including Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, York and Bristol.
Chemistry is an essential A-level for university degrees in healthcare such as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and vetinary science. It also provides an excellent base for many other degrees such as Biological sciences, Physics and Mathematics.
Chemistry is a challenging subject which requires the ability to cope with difficult concepts and to problem solve hence it is well regarded by higher education so it is a good choice if you are not too sure on your future career path.
There are a range of trips and experiences organised throughout the course including:
- Science Live A-level Chemistry Lectures in Birmingham
- Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition
- Spectroscopy in a Suitcase
During the course students will complete a booklet of past paper questions per topic. Students will be expected to pay for these at the start of the year. Purchasing booklets is a mandatory requirement of the course.
The total cost is approximately £10 per year.
Grade 6 in Chemistry OR 6 in both Core AND Additional Science. 6 in Maths.
There are a range of enrichment activities for you to participate in, including:
- Attend the Chemistry in Action A-level Chemistry Lectures at University of Warwick
- Attend the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition
- Attend 'Spectroscopy in a Suitcase' workshop run by PhD Students from Bath University
- Opportunity to take part in STEM enrichement programme
- Volunteer to be a Chemistry mentor for GCSE students
- Participate in Chemistry Olympiad
- Complete the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge
The Chemistry student text books are library books, which are loaned to you until after you finish your final exams. We use OUP books specifically written for the syllabus. The College intranet (Moodle) contains all the information you need for the course. You will also be expected to purchase course booklets which contain lots of information and practice questions.
Yes – but very satisfying when it starts to fit together. It is highly recommended that you work from the beginning of the first lesson, asking questions if you do not understand and attend work shops. You should also speak to others who have already completed the Chemistry course.
No – but it is recommended that you have achieved Grade 6 in HIGHER Maths.
Individual circumstances will be taken into consideration. You will be need to discuss your situation with the Chemistry course leader.
Yes, it is essential to study Chemistry A-level for all medical degrees including vetinary science and dentistry.
Progression and Career Opportunities
Career opportunities within science and technology are seeing unprecedented growth across the world, and so those who study chemistry or another natural science at university are seeing their career prospects develop right before their eyes. Those who study chemistry go on to do many exciting things in a whole range of industries. Some students have gone on to medicine as a doctor or surgeon can earn from £26,000 to in excess of £100,000 a year.
- Forensic Scientist
Higher Education 87%
Any medicine and/or biochemistry alumni could be added here as well as to Biology.
Chemistry Alumni include:
Daniel Broad-Drake Chemical Engineering (Birmingham Uni, 2015)
Phil Evans MChem (Southampton Uni, 2015)
Ellen Webb Chem (Bristol Uni, 2016)
Frankie Cuming Forensics (Derby, 2016)
Jerzy Pilipczuk Chemistry (Imperial, 2016)