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This is a contemporary course which aims to develop the student's enthusiasm for Chemistry by exploring its relevance beyond the laboratory. Students will have opportunities to gain hands on practical skills as well as enhance their data handling and problem solving ability.
The three main areas of Chemistry are studied on the course: Physical, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry.
1. Physical Chemistry
This section builds upon some of the key Chemistry concepts studied at GCSE including Atomic Structure, Quantitative Chemistry (Calculations) Bonding and Kinetics (Rates of Reaction). The Energetics of reactions, Chemical Equilibria and Redox Reactions are also covered.
2. Inorganic Chemistry
Involves the study of the Periodic Table, including explaining trends and patterns in physical and chemical properties of the elements and the study of Group VII Halogens and Group II Alkaline Earth Metals.
3. Organic Chemistry
Following an introduction to the principles of Organic Chemistry students study in greater depth the structures, reactions and mechanisms of specific homologous series and functional groups, including alkanes, halogenoalkanes, alkenes and alcohols. We also undertake organic analysis both practically and using spectroscopic techniques.
The course is assessed through examination papers:
Paper 1 assesses Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and relevant practical skills.
Paper 2 assesses Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and relevant practical skills.
Practical skills are assessed through a range of compulsory practical activities completed in lessons.
The problem solving, numeracy, data handling, analysis, team working, communication and report writing skills gained during A level Chemistry open up opportunities in a vast range of career areas, both inside and outside the laboratory. Chemistry is vital for medical sciences but can also lead to careers in forensics, engineering, pharmaceuticals, toxicology, law, accountancy, physiotherapy and many other exciting and varied fields of work.
GCSE GRADE PROFILE
Students studying Chemistry at this level should normally have A*-C grades in a range of GCSE subjects including English and Maths. In order to cope with the complexity of the subject at A Level, Chemistry students should have at least a B in two Science GCSEs.