AS/A Level Chemistry
The school is using the AQA GCE specification for its A-level Chemistry studies. This specification provides a logical sequence of topics progressing from GCSE through AS to A level and beyond, with the content chosen to provide a balanced and stimulating study of Chemistry. The syllabus places the emphasis on the understanding and application of scientific concepts and principles and less emphasis on factual material, whilst still giving a thorough introduction to the study of Chemistry. Practical skills are acquired through regular experiments throughout the course.
The core syllabus is divided into three main sections:
• Section 1: Physical Chemistry
• Section 2: Inorganic Chemistry
• Section 3: Organic Chemistry
In addition, there are sections on practical skills and mathematics skills which are taught and acquired throughout as required.
The As Chemistry qualification comprises about half of each section while the complete A-level in Chemistry includes all three complete sections.
This course follows a linear route, with exams at the end of the academic year. There is of course a large practical component to the course, which is continually assessed throughout the year.
Students who choose to do only the As Chemistry course will sit papers 1 and 2 of the As course. Assessment of practical skills in this AS specification will be by written exams only, with 15% of the marks in the papers relating to practical work.
Students who aim for the full A-level qualification will sit papers 1 and 2 of the A-level course at the end of the two-year course only. These papers will cover all the work done over the whole course, with at least 15% of the marks in the papers relating to practical work.
In addition, a separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. This will be internally assessed and will be based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams.
Please note that the practical assessments do not include coursework.
Apart from the obvious careers such as chemist, pharmacist or chemical engineer, a Chemistry A-level qualification is also a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, veterinary science and dentistry. It is required for most courses in biochemistry, geology, agriculture, engineering, materials, science and biotechnology. The skills acquired in a chemistry course are highly desirable, which is why chemistry graduates are highly sought after in the financial sector, journalism, law and even accountancy.