Chemistry A level – AQA
(AS and) A Level Chemistry
Course Leaders: Miss Roe and Miss Dunton
What is Chemistry?
Chemistry is the study of the substance of which matter is composed, the investigation of their properties and reactions, and the use of such reactions to form new substances. The course begins gently by revisiting a lot of basic chemistry learnt at GCSE. However you will find yourself learning new content within the first three lessons. As we move through the course, we use our basic understanding of chemistry over and over again – after all, if you can’t understand the structure of an atom then how will you understand what a ligand is?
Why study this course?
First and foremost, you should study this course if you have an interest in chemistry (I would not recommend studying this course if you do not!). Secondly, as mentioned below, chemistry is a facilitating A level. This means you could have absolutely any career path in mind but can study chemistry knowing that it will be recognised and respected by any university or apprenticeship provider. In addition to this, some degrees require or desire applicants to have a chemistry A level making it almost a “must-have” if you are thinking of applying to study medicine, veterinary sciences or other top level science degrees. Finally, you should study this course if you really enjoy getting stuck into a challenge; chemistry is widely considered to be one of the harder A levels and will challenge even the most able.
Who would the course be suitable for and what are the entry requirements?
The entry requirements for this course are not designed to put pupils off from applying but are there to ensure that the students who are accepted onto A level chemistry are able to cope with the rigour and level of demand of this course.
- Maths: 7
- English: 6
- Science (preferably triple*):7
Being a good chemist requires some understanding of physics and biology so ideally you are an all-round scientist who is able to make connections between the three sciences. The ideal student for this course will be extremely organised as there is a lot of content to keep on top of. All lesson slides are on the R drive; we expect all students to print these off ahead of lessons and keep on top of the large amount of paperwork.
*we will accept a trilogy grade of 7 or above but only on the agreement that the missing content is covered independently by the student over the summer in preparation for the course.
What will I learn on this course?
3.3 Physical chemistry
3.1.1 Atomic Structure
3.1.2 Amount of substance
3.3.6 chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier's princepe and Kc
3.1.7 Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
3.1.8 Thermodynamics (A Level only)
3.1.9 Rate equations (A Level only)
3.1.10 Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous sysstems (A Level only)
3.1.11 Acids and bases (A Level only)
3.2 Inorganic chemistry
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 (A Level only)
3.2.5 Transition Metals ( A Level only)
3.2.6 Reactions of ions in aqueous solution (A Level only)
3.3 Organic chemistry
3.3.1 Introduction to organic chemistry
3.3.6 Organic analysis
3.3.7 Optical isomerism (A-level only)
3.3.8 Aldehydes and ketones (A-level only)
3.3.9 Carboxylic acids and derivatives (A-level only)
3.3.10 Aromatic chemistry (A-level only)
3.3.11 Amines (A-level only)
3.3.12 Polymers (A-level only)
3.3.13 Amino acids, proteins and DNA (A-level only)
3.3.14 Organic synthesis (A-level only)
3.3.15 Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (A-level only)
3.3.16 Chromatography (A-level only)
How will I be assessed?
All assessment takes place at the end of this two year course (summer of Year 13). The A level Chemistry course is assessed by sitting externally examined written papers. The course is assessed in the summer of year 13 (3 exam papers in total) In addition to this you will be expected to carry out 12 laboratory practical tasks which are not externally examined however they are assessed as pass/fail (and internally assessed coursework is generated from each one). The theory and methods from these practical tasks will form part of the final exam content.
What can I do with an A-Level Chemistry?
A level Chemistry is a facilitating A level, this means that it is one of a handful of A-level subjects commonly asked for in universities' entry requirements, regardless of the course you're applying to – this makes it a good choice to keep your degree options open.
As a facilitating A level, the career options following on from A level Chemistry are virtually limitless. However Chemistry should be considered an essential A level to take (where possible) in preparation for degrees in medicine or veterinary sciences.
Is there anything else I need to know?
- Practical work is an essential part of the course (as described above) therefore you will be expected to take an active and confident role within these practical lessons (however support will be on hand throughout).
- the handling of strong chemicals is essential/required throughout therefore these practical tasks will be fully risk assessed and poor behaviour will not be tolerated (for the safety of those in the classroom).
- We have historically taken a trip out to visit Singer Instruments in Roadwater however this is not certain to take place this year because of Covid-19 restrictions.
For more information on AQA Chemistry go to AQA website
Who can I contact for further information?