Contact Teacher: Mr S Cooke, Team Leader KS4 and KS5 Science

Exam Board: AQA

Why study Chemistry?

Chemistry is the central science in that it supports both biology and physics. The study of chemistry at advanced level is an excellent foundation for any science course at university. The subject leads to a host of career opportunities such as Research, Teaching, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, Chemical Engineering, Forensic Science, Environmental Science and many more.

Course details

Core content:
Physical chemistry (1 Atomic structure, 2 Amount of substance, 3 Bonding, 4 Energetics, 5 Kinetics, 6 Chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier’s principle, 7 Oxidation, reduction and redox equations, 8 Thermodynamics, 9 Rate equations, 10 Equilibrium constant for homogeneous systems, 11 Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells, 12 Acids and bases)

Inorganic chemistry (1 Periodicity, 2 Alkaline earth metals, 3 Halogens, 4 Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides, 5 Transition metals, 6 Reactions of ions in aqueous solution)

Organic chemistry (1 Introduction to organic chemistry, 2 Alkanes, 3 Halogenoalkanes, 4 Alkenes, 5 Alcohols, 6 Organic analysis, 7 Optical isomerism, 8 Aldehydes and ketones, 9 Carboxylic acids and derivatives, 10 Aromatic chemistry, 11 Amines, 12 Polymers, 13 Amino acids, proteins and DNA, 14 Organic synthesis, 15 Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, 16 Chromatography)

181How the course is taught and assessed

The A-level course is taught by a team of two teachers who split the specification between them, as recommended by the exam board. Practical assessments are carried out during the teaching of the relevant core content.

Paper 1
What’s assessed? - Inorganic chemistry , relevant physical chemistry topics (sections 1 to 4, 6 to 8 and 10 to 12) and relevant practical skills.
Written exam: 2 hours (short and long answer questions) 105 marks 35% of A-level

Paper 2
What’s assessed? - Organic chemistry, relevant physical chemistry topics (sections 2 to 6 and 9) and relevant practical skills.
Written exam: 2 hours (short and long answer questions) 105 marks 35% of A-level

Paper 3
What’s assessed? - Any content and any practical skills
Written exam: 2 hours 90 marks (40 marks of questions on practical techniques and data analysis, 20 marks of questions testing across the specification, and 30 marks of multiple choice questions) 30% of A-level

Entry requirements

Anyone wishing to take Chemistry should have a minimum of grade 6 in both Core and Additional Science at GCSE. Those who have followed the Triple Science route should have at least two 6 grades, including Chemistry. Chemistry at this level does involve quite a lot of maths, so you should be prepared to develop your maths skills throughout the course. You must have at least a 6 grade at GCSE Maths.