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A-level Chemistry

Chemistry at A-level is stimulating, challenging, satisfying and fun.

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Exam Board: AQA

Chemistry

Chemistry develops practical and analytical skills and provides opportunities for research into and evaluation of existing theories and techniques. Chemistry at A-level is stimulating, challenging, satisfying and fun.

Entry Requirements

A good grounding in Chemistry and Maths is essential – at least a grade 6 or above at GCSE level or equivalent. Students are expected to have a high level of motivation and self-discipline, plus the ability to work independently.

Course Content

The qualification is linear with examinations occurring at the end of Year 12 and Year 13.

In Year 12, students study Physical Chemistry (structure, bonding, energetics, calculations from equations, kinetics, equilibria and redox); Inorganic Chemistry (periodicity, Group 2, and Group 7); and Organic Chemistry (alkanes, alkenes, halogenoalkanes, alcohols and organic analysis).

In Year 13, students study Physical Chemistry (thermodynamics, rate equations, equilibrium constants, electrochemistry and acids and bases); Inorganic Chemistry (Periodic Properties – Period 3 Oxides), Transition Metals and Aqueous Ion Reactions); and Organic Chemistry (optical isomerism, compounds with carbonyl groups, aromatic chemistry, amines, polymers, amino acids, proteins, DNA, organic synthesis, and NMR spectroscopy).

Where Does it Lead?

It can lead to a career in science or any science-related occupation. The ability to demonstrate analytical and scientific thinking will be of value in many other career paths. Chemistry is helpful for researchers, engineers, doctors, veterinary surgeons, geneticists, pharmacists, pharmacologists – the list is endless.

Assessment

AS (Year 12)
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AS (Year 12) is assessed with two written examination papers, taken in June, involving long and short answer questions, as well as multiple choice questions. Students carry out relevant practical work throughout the course. Relevant practical skills are assessed in both written papers. AS Level: 2 written papers, 90 minutes each.

A-level (Year 13)
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A-level (Year 13) Chemistry is assessed with three written examination papers, taken in June, at the end of the two years of study. They involve short and long answer questions as well as multiple choice questions. During the two years, practical and investigation skills are assessed both in general and through specific tasks. A-level: 3 written papers, 120 minutes each. There are 12 required practicals to complete to a satisfactory standard in order to achieve a pass in the practical skills endorsement.

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