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Chemistry: A Level

Course outline
Over the two years of the course there are six teaching modules:

Module 1 - Development of practical skills in chemistry (year 1&2)
There are 12 assessment tasks covering the areas of planning, implementing, analysis and evaluation
The individual tasks are intergrated into the teaching and are not separate controlled assessments or exams.

 

Module 2 - Foundations in Chemistry (year 1)
Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations; amount of chemical substance; acid-base and redox reactions; electrons, bonding and structure


Module 3 - Periodic table and energy
(year 1)
The periodic table and periodicity; Group 2 and the halogens; qualitative analysis; enthalpy changes; reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative)


Module 4 - Core organic chemistry
(year 1)
Basic concepts; hydrocarbons; alcohols and haloalkenes; organic synthesis; analytical techniques (IR and MS)

 

Module 5 - Physical chemistry and transition elements
Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative); pH and buffers; enthalpy; entropy and free energy; redox and electrode potentials; transition elements

Module 6 - Organic chemistry and analysis (year 2)
Aromatic compounds; carbonyl compounds; carboxylic acids and esters; nitrogen compounds; polymers; organic synthesis; chromatography and spectroscopy (NMR)

 

Assessment
There will be three written papers in June of the second year: 
Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry (37%)
Synthesis and analytical techniques (37%)
Unified Chemistry (37%)

 

As well as assessing your practical skills within the written examinations there will be a non-examined Practical Endorsement in Chemistry to record your successful skill development.

 

Teaching styles
An extensive range of teaching styles is used on the course including: practical work; use of ICT; and group work.  Lessons are varied and accommodate all learning styles and abilities.
 
Subject combinations
Many students will take Chemistry alongside other science subjects but for others it may be their only science subject.  It goes particularly well with: Mathematics; Biology; Physics; and Health and Social Care.
 
Resources and facilities
At the beginning of 2011 all the science labs were completely refurbished.  As well as a full range of science equipment the new labs incorporate ICT facilities including computers and interactive whiteboards.  There is also a new computer suite dedicated to science students.
 
Key features
Good academic and pastoral support for students. Outside lessons, students receive effective and additional personal support and help in workshops from approachable teachers who are available to help students on an individual basis to achieve their very best.
 
Progression
With its emphasis on developing good analytical skills, Chemistry is an ideal preparation for a wide range of careers inside and outside science.  It is particularly useful for careers in: analytical chemistry; biological chemistry; colour chemistry; marketing; medicinal chemistry; process chemistry; patent law; academic chemistry; new technologies; and information science.
 
Provisional entry requirements
As part of a level 3 programme a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 - 9 are required, or equivalent, including English Language, Mathematics grade B or 6 preferred and EITHER Combined Science grade B, B or 6, 6 OR GCSE Chemistry grade B or 6.

 

Equivalent qualifications may be considered. 

  

Summary

Level 3

Two years

Four periods per week
Assessed by exams
Progress to Higher Education