Chemistry AS/A Level ( AQA ) at Allerton High School
Have you ever wondered how we have worked out the structure of natural materials such as hormones or penicillin and then been able to make them in the lab – perhaps even improving their desirable properties? How we can analyse over 100 different chemicals in one puff of cigarette smoke? The Chemical industry is Britain’s third largest manufacturing industry and the UK’s number one export earner. In spite of this, there is a shortage of chemists and so grades required for University entry are often low.
This is the essential A Level subject for anyone wanting to study medicine, veterinary science or dentistry. It is also a valuable ‘service’ subject for those wishing to study Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Materials Science, Forensics and Engineering. An increasing number of students are combining the subject with one or more Arts subjects – perhaps because Chemistry is a very creative Science.
Chemistry underpins everything in our modern lifestyle. For example, it is Chemistry that enables us to convert crude oil into petrol, plastics and fibres. Chemists invented Nylon, Terylene, Lycra and other artificial fibres, plastics and synthetic rubbers; chemists make fertilisers, medicines that help to fight disease, pain and disability; chemists help to make sewage harmless and water pure; they also analyse and monitor the atmosphere and the sea for pollutants. There are few things that we use which have not, at some stage been made, processed or monitored by chemists. The chemical and pharmaceutical industries are two of the largest employers in the manufacturing industries. Chemists are also employed in related areas such as biotechnology and electronics, as well as many other areas. Employers and universities recognise the value of training in logical thought, numerical and communications skills and the general science education that an AS in Chemistry provides.
You will study the following:-
AS Physical Chemistry
This module explores the fundamental principles that form the basis of Chemistry, including Atomic Structure, Bonding and Energetics. This content should engage the intellectual curiosity of students.
AS Inorganic Chemistry
This unit looks in detail at the Periodic Table, looking in detail at the trends we see as we go along the Periods of the Table as well as down the Groups.
AS Organic Chemistry
This module introduces the idea of Organic (Carbon based) Chemistry, looking into the reaction of alkanes and alkenes which have been previously met at GCSE as well as introducinig synthetic routes of alkanes and halogenoalkanes.
There are 6 compulsory practicals to be completed in AS Chemistry, the skills used in these will be questioned on both exam papers. These include titration, calorimetry and organic tests.
There will be two exams at the end of the AS course, both are 1 hour 30 minutes with 80 marks available, 15 multiple choice and 65 short and long answer questions.
A2 Physical Chemistry
This unit develops the concepts of Physical Chemistry introduced at AS, extending the ideas of energetics and equilibria previously covered to introduced the idea of disorder and entropy, as well as introducing acid-base calculations and the electrochemical cell and how this could be used to power our vehicles in the coming years.
A2 Inorganic Chemistry
Again this unit further extends the content met in AS with further trends in the Periodic Table looked at, as well as the introduction of the fascinating chemistry of the Transition Metals.
A2 Organic Chemistry
This unit really enhances the knowledge gained at AS with numerous synthetic routes being discovered for the production of Amines, Polymers and Carbonyl Compounds. there is also an introduction to the captivating chemistry of the Benzene ring. This leads into a detailed study of the identification of organic molecules including NMR and IR.
There are a further 6 compulsory practicals to be completed in A2 Chemistry; the skills used in these will be questioned on all three exam papers. These include Preparation of Organic Compounds, Thin Layer Chromatography and Transition Metal Reactions.
There will be three examinations at the end of the A2 course, these will cover all content covered during the two year programme and all practicals completed. Each exam is 2 hours with Paper 1 and Paper 2 being 105 marks of short and long answer questions. Paper 3 is 90 marks, focussing on mainly practical skills, with 30 marks of multiple choice questions.
You should have achieved a minimum of 5 9-5 or equivalent grades at GCSE including English and at least a grade 6 in Maths.
If studying Combined Science you must also have achieved grade 6 or better in both Chemistry Paper 1 and Paper 2 examinations. If studying Separate Sciences GCSE Chemistry, grade 6 is required. If you wish to study two Sciences at A Level you will need at least grade 6/7.
If you wish to take both Biology and Chemistry A-Level then you need AB (or BA) or better in those separate subjects at GCSE.
If you have completed Core and Additional Science you require at least B in BL1 and CH1 and A in BL2 and CH2.
The qualification is linear. This means that students will sit AS exams at the end of their AS course and all the A-level exams at the end of their A-Level course.
There will be 2 exams at the end of the AS course, both are 1 hour and 30 minutes with 80 marks available, 15 multiple choice and 65 short and long answer questions.
There will be three examinations at the end of the A2 course, these will cover all content covered during the two year programme and all practicals completed.
Each exam is 2 hours with Paper 1 and 2 being 105 marks of short and long answer questions. Paper 3 is 90 marks, focussing mainly on practical skills, with 30 marks of multiple choice questions.
Chemistry can open pathways to many careers either through a university or modern apprenticeship route. Examples of subjects where Chemistry is desirable are:
Dentistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, Biochemistry, Teaching, Veterinary work, Pharmacology, Chemical Engineering, Forensic Chemistry, Optometry and many more too numerous to list here.
For further information please contact Mrs Matthews at Allerton High School on 0113 2034770.
How to apply
You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.