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Chemistry at Maidstone Grammar School for Girls

Course description

A Level Chemistry attempts to answer the big question ‘what is the world made of?’ and it is the search for the answer that makes this subject so fascinating. From investigating how one substance can be changed drastically into another, to researching a new wonder drug to save millions of lives, the opportunities that Chemistry provides are endless.

The top five degree courses taken by students who have an A Level in Chemistry are Chemistry, Biology, Pre-clinical medicine, Mathematics and Pharmacology. Studying an A Level Chemistry-related degree at university gives you all sorts of exciting career options, including Analytical Chemist, Chemical Engineer, Clinical Biochemist, Pharmacologist, Doctor, Research Scientist, Toxicologist, Chartered Certified Accountant, Environmental Consultant, higher education lecturer, Patent attorney, Science writer and Teacher.

Course content

Course Details

  • Physical Chemistry: In Year 12 the course covers atomic structure and bonding, energetics, kinetics, equilibria and redox. These ideas are developed in Year 13 to cover thermodynamics, rate equations, acids and bases, electrode potentials and electrochemical cells.
  • Inorganic Chemistry: In Year 12 the course covers periodicity, group 2 (the alkaline earth metals) and group 7 (the halogens). These ideas are extended in Year 13 to cover the properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides, transition metals and reactions of ions in aqueous solutions.
  • Organic Chemistry: In Year 12 the course covers alkanes, halogen alkanes, alkenes, alcohols and organic analysis. These ideas are extended in Year 13 to cover optical isomerism, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and derivatives, aromatic chemistry, amines, polymers, amino acids, proteins and DNA, organic synthesis, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and chromatography.

Throughout the course you will carry out practical activities including measuring energy changes in chemical reactions, tests for identifying different types of compound, studying electrochemical cells, and an advanced form of chromatography for more accurate results.

The linear Advanced Level Chemistry course is assessed through three theory papers detailed below. Separate to your A Level result in Chemistry, you will receive a pass or fail in practical competence assessed through five Common Practical Assessment Criteria.

  • Paper 1 (2 hour written examination, 35%, short and long answer questions)
  • Paper 2 (2 hour written examination, 35%, short and long answer questions)
  • Paper 3 (2 hour written examination, 30% , questions on practical techniques and data analysis, questions testing across the specification and multiple choice questions)

Entry requirements

General Sixth Form Entry Requirements: Admission to the Sixth Form will be as a result of applicants achieving a minimum Grade 5 in English Language and Mathematics.  In total students need to have achieved at least six GCSEs of which at least four subjects are at Grade 6 (or Grade B). In addition students must meet subject entry requirements. Students meeting only the minimum entry requirements for the Sixth Form are likely to find the choice of subjects which they can access is restricted. 

Subject specific GCSE requirements:  Grade 6 or above in GCSE Chemistry or 7-7 or above in GCSE Combined Science. Grade 7 or above in GCSE Mathematics is also required.  BTEC Science courses, GCSE Applied Science and GCSE Additional Applied Science are not suitable preparation for this course.  Examination Board: AQA

Further information

From September 2018, MGGS will be offering two pathways at the start of Year 12. These are:

Pathway 1: 3 A levels to completion plus participation in the Sixth Form Extra Programme

Pathway 2: 4 A levels to completion plus participation in the Sixth Form Extra Programme (For students achieving at least 8 A* or A / 9-7 grades)

Decisions on whether students do Pathway 1 or 2 will not be made until after GCSE results are published in August 2018.

All students should list five subjects in preference order. The first three will be your preferred A level choices and the fourth and fifth will be considered as reserve choices. If you would like to be considered for Pathway 2, you will be able to indicate this at your Guidance Meeting in February.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Maidstone Grammar School for Girls directly.

Last updated date: 06 November 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years