Chemistry

Examination Board

Edexcel

Specific Course Requirements

Students are accepted onto this course if they have at least AB or BA grades in GCSE Double Science or, alternatively, at least ABB, BAB or BBA in Triple Science. The department will consider students with BB or BBB grades depending on teacher recommendations, overall Science profiles and availability of places. Students must also have level 5 and above in English Language and Mathematics.

Course Content

The subject is informally split into three areas: Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry. These are interwoven so that a variety of topics are taught throughout. There is an emphasis on practical work which is carried out on an individual basis wherever possible. Students will be given regular homework tasks which will involve research and sample examination questions amongst other written tasks. The theory of the course will complement the practical work and will seek to explain modern Chemistry in contexts such as climate change, green chemistry, pharmaceuticals and chemical research.

What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

You should be willing to work hard and to think independently, as the conceptual demand of the subject is very high. You should be confident with chemical equations and simple numerical chemistry such as reacting masses, as well as be able to use standard laboratory equipment safely and competently.

How will I be assessed on this course?

The ‘A’ Level consists of three units tested by a written paper worth 30%, 30% and 40% respectively. There are 16 core practicals which will be examined in the written papers; a separate practical pass/fail assessment will be given in addition to the ‘A’ Level grade.

What could I do with a qualification in this subject?

An ‘A’ Level in Chemistry is an excellent preparation for a degree in the Physical or Biological Sciences, as well as a requirement for entrance into most medical related courses. The skills you would develop during the course would be useful for many career paths.

The three most commonly asked questions about this course are:

Do I need to do Chemistry ‘A’ Level in order to apply for Medical School?

Yes.

How much Mathematics is there in the course?

Chemistry is a numerical subject; however the mathematical demand does not require you to study Mathematics ‘A’ Level in addition, although it may assist you.

Is there a lot of practical work?

Chemistry is a practical subject, as well as a theoretical one, so practical work is a very important aspect of the course.