Chemistry has been added to My Courses
Chemistry is considered to be one of the most difficult A-level subjects, however if a student is hard-working and self-motivated, it will prove to be a stimulating and very rewarding course. Some students choose to study Chemistry because they are interested in a Chemistry-related career or it is a pre-requisite for other careers e.g. Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry and Pharmacy. Some choose it because it’s a valuable support subject for A-level Biology and can complement aspects of A-level Physics. Others simply choose it because they enjoy practical work, problem-solving and making sense of the material world around them.
Please note, chemistry students who are not studying A-level Mathematics are strongly recommended to study mathematics beyond GCSE Level, for example Core Maths, in order to develop further the mathematical skills required for this course.
The A-level course is divided into 3 areas of Physical, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry.
Physical Year 1 Chemistry
Amount of substance
Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc
Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems
Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells
Acids and bases
Inorganic Year 1
Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
Group 7(17), the halogens
Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides
Reactions of ions in aqueous solution
Organic Year 1
Introduction to organic chemistry
Aldehydes and ketones
Carboxylic acids and derivatives
Amino acids, proteins and DNA
Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
The course is tutored by well-qualified Chemistry specialists who aim to stimulate interest in and enjoyment of Chemistry and to foster imaginative, logical and critical thinking. The course integrates theory and experimental work, developing analytical and manipulative skills. Students are encouraged to develop scientific communication skills through research, discussion and written work.
Methods of Assessment
Students will sit three written exam papers at the end of the course each lasting 2.0 hours. During the course they will complete a range of practical activities. Some skills will be assessed by teacher observation in class and teacher marked practical reports. The remaining skills will be assessed within the written exams.
Students are advised to take part in college-run STEM activities and belong to the college BioMed group. They are encouraged to apply for Access to Bristol and to enter the international RSC Chemistry Olympiad and the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge. Visits have also been organised to the Universities of Bristol and Bath Departments of Chemistry, for talks and demonstrations.
Alongside the exam grade, student certificates will also show if they have earned the practical skills endorsement. This is a pass/fail mark generated from their folio of practical work.
Chemistry is taught in modern, well-equipped laboratories. The Chemistry tutors have developed a comprehensive range of resources that students can assess out of lessons. The college Learning Resource Centre has a large number of computers for student use and is well stocked with printed and electronic resources to support independent study.
A-level Chemistry provides a sound basis for students who wish to proceed to Higher Education. A wide range of careers opportunities are open to them, such as – Analytical Chemistry, Archaeology, Art Restoration, Biochemistry, Conservation, Dentistry, Dietetics, Education, Engineering, Food Technology, Forensic Science, Forestry, Geology, Horticulture, Information Technology, Science Journalism, Material Science, Medicine, Museums, Nursing, Oceanography, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Radiography, Social Work, Sports & Fitness and Veterinary Science.
Students have progressed to university to study courses such as Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Engineering and Education.
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