Why study Chemistry?

A-level Chemistry attempts to answer the big question ‘what is the world made of’ and it’s the search for this answer that makes this subject so fascinating. From investigating how one substance can be changed drastically into another, to researching a new wonder drug to save millions of lives, the opportunities that chemistry provides are endless.

Exam Board:

AQA: www.aqa.org.uk

Course outline:

You will be taught Chemistry by three specialist teachers

A-level CHEMISTRY Subject content

3.1 Physical chemistry

3.1.1 Atomic structure

3.1.2 Amount of substance

3.1.3 Bonding

3.1.4 Energetics

3.1.5 Kinetics

3.1.6 Chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier's principle

3.1.7 Oxidation, reduction and redox equations

3.1.8 Thermodynamics

3.1.9 Rate equations

3.1.10 Equilibrium constant Kc for homogeneous systems

3.1.11 Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells

3.1.12 Acids and bases

3.2 Inorganic chemistry

3.2.1 Periodicity

3.2.2 Group 2, the alkaline earth metals

3.2.3 Group 7(17), the halogens

3.2.4 Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides

3.2.5 Transition metals

3.2.6 Reactions of ions in aqueous solution

3.3 Organic chemistry

3.3.1 Introduction to organic chemistry

3.3.2 Alkanes

3.3.3 Halogenoalkanes

3.3.4 Alkenes

3.3.5 Alcohols

3.3.6 Organic analysis                                                                                                                                                

3.3.7 Optical isomerism

3.3.8 Aldehydes and ketones  

3.3.9 Carboxylic acids and derivatives

3.3.10 Aromatic chemistry

3.3.11 Amines

3.3.12 Polymers

3.3.13 Amino acids, proteins and DNA

​​​​​​​3.3.14 Organic synthesis

3.3.15 Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

3.3.16 Chromatography

How you are assessed:

There are three papers.

Paper 1

  • Physical chemistry topics (sections 3.1.1 to 3.1.4, 3.1.6 to 3.1.8 and 3.1.10 to 3.1.12)
  • Inorganic chemistry (section 3.2)
  • Relevant practical skills
  • It is a written examination lasting 2 hours
  • It is worth 105 marks, which equates to 35% of A-level
  • Short and long answer questions

Paper 2

  • Physical chemistry topics (sections 3.1.2 to 3.1.6 and 3.1.9)
  • Organic chemistry (section 3.3)
  • Relevant practical skills
  • It is a written examination lasting 2 hours
  • It is worth 105 marks, which equates to 35% of A-level
  • Short and long answer questions

Paper 3

  • Any content
  • Any practical skills
  • It is a written examination lasting two hours
  • It is worth 90 marks, which equates to 30% of A level
  • 40 marks of questions on practical techniques and data analysis 
  • 20 marks of questions testing across the specification
  • 30 marks of multiple choice questions 

Studying this subject could lead to a career in:

  • Analytical chemist
  • Chemical engineer
  • Clinical biochemist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Doctor
  • Research scientist (physical sciences)
  • Toxicologist
  • Chartered certified accountant
  • Environmental consultant
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Patent attorney
  • Science writer
  • Secondary school teacher

Subject requirements:

 

Minimum grade 6 in GCSE Chemistry or 6+6 in Combined Science. Grade 5 in Maths also required.

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