Chemistry A Level

Chemistry tries to answer the question ‘What is the world made of?’ Studying Chemistry will help you understand the things around you, will give you an insight into the environmental impact of the chemicals used in our everyday life and the products we use. Chemistry A Level gives you a deeper appreciation of the complexity of science, and will give you important skills such as problem solving and data analysis. You will be able to make connections between the conceptual and practical sides of chemistry, and you will apply this understanding to real life situations.

Subject Leader:  Mr R Thompson
KS5 Subject Teachers:  Mrs Mackay, Mrs Adeleke, Mr Thompson, Mr Minihane

Subject Leader:  Mr R Thompson
KS5 Subject Teachers:
Mrs Mackay, Mrs Adeleke,
Mr Thompson, Mr Minihane

We use AQA as our exam board, just like we do at GCSE, so A Level Physics builds on this very successfully.

Topics Studied:

Year 12

Physical Chemistry – atomic structure, bonding, energetics, kinetics, chemical equilibrium and Le Chatelier’s principle.
Inorganic Chemistry – the periodic table, Group 2 (the Alkaline Earth Metals) and Group 7 (the Halogens).
Organic Chemistry – alkanes, alkenes, halogenoalkanes, alcohols, organic analysis.

Year 13:

Physical Chemistry – thermodynamics, rate equations, equilibrium constant, electrochemistry.
Inorganic Chemistry – Period 3 elements and their oxides, transition metals, reactions of ions in aqueous solution.
Organic Chemistry – Optical Isomerism, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and their derivatives, amines, polymers, amino acids, proteins, DNA, organic synthesis, nmr spectroscopy, chromatography.

Practical Skills: Practical Skills are assessed throughout the course. Students complete twelve ‘required practicals’ during the A Level.  You will steadily improve your practical skills, becoming proficient at planning and carrying out experiments safely, and you will be able to analyse and interpret your results, drawing relevant conclusions.  Practical skills are graded as Pass or Fail.

Assessment: A Level Chemistry is a linear course with three exams, all two hours long, at the end of Year 13.

Entry Requirements: Five Grades 9-5 at GCSE including Mathematics and Grade 7-6 in Combined Science Trilogy or 7-6-6 in the Separate Sciences

The top five degrees studied by students with A Level Chemistry are: Chemistry, Biology, Medicine, Mathematics and Pharmacology. Other options are Physics, Aeronautical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Medicine, Biochemistry, Mechanical Engineering, Pharmacy, Environmental Sciences, Chemical Physics and many others.

Possible Careers: Chemistry is a numerate subject so it opens doors in many areas. analytical chemist, chemical engineer, clinical biochemist, research scientist, toxicologist, environmental scientist, university lecturer, lawyer, chartered accountant, science writer, secondary school teacher, patent attorney, dentist, doctor.

Further Reading
Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements by Hugh Aldersey-Williams 
Climate Change – A Very Short Introduction by Mark Maslin
Rachel Ignotovsky – Women In Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
Student studying Chemistry at university – Phinyada Kankraisri