Chemistry is often termed the central science because of its important role in connecting many different fields and this 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.
At the end of the A level you will sit three papers (2 hours each):
Paper 1 - 105 marks counting for 35%. Topics include Inorganic Chemistry with relevant Physical Chemistry and some practical skills.
Paper 2 - 105 marks counting for 35%. Topics include Organic Chemistry with relevant Physical Chemistry and some practical skills.
Paper 3 - 90 marks counting for 30%. Topics include all practical skills and a general selection of all A level content.
During the course you will also build up a lab book of practical’s completed showing your competency to plan practical’s, carry out a method safely, record and analyse data. This will be graded as pass / fail.
5 GCSEs 9-4, including English at grade 4 and maths at grade 6.
Dual Science 6/6. Separate sciences 6/6/5 i.e. Chemistry and one other Science at 6/6.
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.