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Chemistry A Level at Harlow College

Course description

This course covers a wide range of chemistry topics, the core principles are: formulae writing, calculating chemical quantities and atomic structure. We will also look at the application of these core principles, these include intermediate bonding and the effects of intermolecular forces and redox reactions; organic chemistry, equilibria, transition metals and organic nitrogen chemistry.

Course content

  • Unit 1: The Core principles of Chemistry: 
    Basic chemical skills of formulae writing, equation writing and calculating chemical quantities; energetics in chemistry; defining, measure and calculate enthalpy changes; atomic structure; chemical bonding (ionic, covalent and metallic); introduction to organic chemistry.
  • Unit 2: Application of Core Principles of Chemistry: 
    Intermediate bonding and the effects of intermolecular forces; redox reactions; ways of controlling the rate, direction and extent of chemical change; organic chemistry; use of formulae and balancing equations and understanding chemical quantities.
  • Unit 3: Chemistry Laboratory Skills 1 (internally assessed): 
    12 practical assessments cover areas of physical, organic and inorganic chemistry and assess qualitative observations, quantitative measurements and preparations.


  • Unit 4: General Principles of Chemistry 1 – Rates, Equilibria and Further Organic Chemistry: 
    Chemical kinetics reaction rates, and organic reaction mechanisms; entropy (why reactions occur) and equilibria (how far); organic chemistry including carbonyl compounds, plus carboxylic acids and their derivatives; nomenclature, ideas of isomerism, bond polarity and bond enthalpy, reagents and reaction conditions, reaction types and mechanisms.  
  • Unit 5: General Principles of Chemistry II – Transition Metals and Organic Nitrogen Chemistry: 
    Electrolysis (batteries), including the concept of oxidation number and the use of redox half equations; further organic chemistry focusing on arenes and organic nitrogen compounds such as amines, amides, amino acids and proteins and polymers such as nylon.
  • Unit 6: Chemistry Laboratory Skills II (internally assessed): 
    12 practical assessments cover areas of physical, organic and inorganic chemistry and assess qualitative observations, quantitative measurements and preparations including aspirin, perfumes, complex salts.

Entry requirements

7 GCSEs Grades A* - C with an average points score of 45, plus GCSE Core and Additional Science at grade B or above and GCSE Maths at grade B or above.


Exam and coursework based on practical experiments done under exam conditions

Financial information

Paper, pens, folder and calculator are needed, along with course texts and revision guides. A memory stick for saving work is advisable.

Lab coats and other protective wear for experiments will be provided by the college.

Future opportunities

Many Chemistry students progress onto an undergraduate degree in Chemistry or a Chemistry related subject such as biochemistry, pharmacy, environmental health, environmental monitoring, and geology. Degrees such as Medicine or Veterinary Science require A Level Chemistry. There is a wide range of employment opportunities in laboratory or related work.

Further information

Call 01279 868100 and talk to an Admissions Adviser

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Harlow College directly.

Last updated date: 13 April 2016
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