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A Level Chemistry

Head of Department: Dr S. Pinniger

Examination Board: AQA

Specification Code: 7405

Entry Requirements: GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Mathematics, both grade 7

Course Content:

Why do puddles of water evaporate even on a cold day? What do atoms really look like? Why do different compounds have different colours? Studying A level Chemistry sets students on a path toward being able to really understand how Chemistry works instead of just learning it. AQA Chemistry includes a wide range of Physical, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry topics and incorporates many important skill areas, including communication, technology and the application of number. You will do a lot of practical work to help support the learning of Chemistry content, as well as wider skills such as data analysis, critical evaluation of information, communication and collaborative work.

Course Assessment:

You will be examined on your ability to:

  • Recall and explain concepts

  • Apply concepts to theoretical, laboratory and commercial situations

  • Quantitatively analyse chemical processes

  • Understand and use laboratory techniques

    Paper 1: Inorganic and Physical Chemistry

    2 hours. 35% of the A level.

    Paper 2: Organic and Physical Chemistry

    2 hours. 35% of the A level.

    Paper 3: Synoptic; practical skills and data analysis

    2 hours. 30% of the A level.

    In addition, A level students will be assessed on their practical skills over the two years and given a Pass or Unclassified comment.

Extension opportunities:

A level Chemists are encouraged to participate in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and RSC Chemistry Olympiad competitions where many achieve success. Students have the opportunity to widen their knowledge of Chemistry by attending external lectures by prominent scientists at the Chemistry in Action days at the Institute of Education. In Upper 6 we are visited by University Chemists who lead the RSC Spectroscopy in a Suitcase workshop to enhance understanding of analytical techniques.

Who should study Chemistry?

The course is suitable for those wishing to study Chemistry or related subjects such as Engineering or Biomedicine to degree level, including Oxford and Cambridge. It is useful not only for those who need A level Chemistry as a ‘tool’ for further studies (e.g. those wishing to become doctors, pharmacists, veterinarians, or dentists where Chemistry is a prerequisite), but also for those who wish to extend their chemical knowledge and understanding further before seeking employment. Chemists develop skills in scientific methods, logical thinking, critical analysis, and mathematical ability all of which make you attractive to future universities and employers. Mathematical competency is an advantage.

We hope you will find A level Chemistry stimulating and informative. It will be demanding, but if you work hard you should enjoy yourself and find it rewarding.

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