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Chemistry A Level at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School

Course description

You already know quite a lot about the world of Chemistry. We all do. Our lives depend on Chemistry in action - in our bodies, our food, and our environment. Materials we use everyday such as plastics, paints and dyes are the result of chemical research. Artificial fibres, new Medicine and even the microchips that run computers could not have been developed without the skill and knowledge of chemists. Science never stands still and the 21st century will continue to be an exciting time in the development of Chemistry and its applications. As well as increasing your knowledge of chemistry you will also increase your expertise in the laboratory, working at a higher level of skill and precision. You will now able to extend your study of Chemistry beyond GCSE at two levels - AS and A2.

Course content

The A Level syllabus followed is the one provided by AQA. It continues with a rigorous approach to the academic study of Chemistry and the syllabus adopts a logical sequence of topics as we progress from GCSE through AS to A Level. The A Level syllabus will encourage students to:

  • develop essential knowledge and understanding of the concepts of Chemistry
  • develop an understanding of the link between theory and experiment
  • be aware of how advances in instrumentation and ICT are used in Chemistry
  • appreciate the contribution of Chemistry to society
  • develop enjoyment of, and interest in Chemistry

The course is modular for both AS and A2. Each consists of 3 modules.

AS MODULE 1

(Foundation Chemistry) Atomic Structure, Amount of Substance, Bonding, Periodicity and Organic Chemistry (Oil and Alkanes)

MODULE 2

(Chemistry in Action) Energetics, Rates of Reaction, Equilibria, Extraction of Metals, Group II and Group VII, Oxidation and Reduction, Organic Chemistry (Alkenes, Alcohols, Haloalkanes), Analysis

MODULE 3

(Assessed practical work) We will carry out investigations similar to the ones already taken at GCSE. All practical assessments are done under exam conditions. Practical work is worth 20% of the total AS marks.

A2

This builds on work carried out in the AS course.

MODULE 4

(Kinetics, Equilibria and Organic Chemistry)

MODULE 5

(Energetics, Redox and Inorganic Chemistry)

MODULE 6

(Assessed practical work)

Throughout the course it is hoped that time spent in practical work will develop your understanding of the theory. Do not expect all practicals to be a chemistry ‘spectacular’ - indeed, few are - the emphasis being on accuracy in measurement and observation, together with instruction in handling expensive equipment and a wide variety of chemicals.

Entry requirements

Most students in the past have had at least a grade B or above at GCSE level in either Chemistry or Double Award Science (Science and Additional Science). Each case is treated on its own merits. A good grade in Mathematics is also desirable, particularly for A2 since later modules make use of some mathematical concepts.

Future opportunities

Chemistry occupies a central position among the basic sciences and as a result provides a stepping-off point for further study. Many universities run joint degree courses in which Chemistry is studied (jointly) with some other subject to honours level. There are also Chemistry ‘with’ courses - these differ from joint degree courses in that Chemistry forms the major component of the course along with subjects such as a foreign language, biology, law or management. A Level Chemistry may be seen as a required or preferred subject in medicine, biochemistry, chemical engineering, materials science, food science and agricultural science, to name but a few.

Do Chemistry qualifications lead to jobs? Yes - the range of jobs available to someone with a Chemistry qualification is huge. There are many jobs involving the science directly since the chemical industry is the largest and most successful of the UK manufacturing industries. Industry employs about half the total of chemists. Many other employers recognise the value of training in logical thought and successful chemists are numerate, analytical, creative and have good organisational skills. People whose initial subject was Chemistry can be found as journalists, accountants, salesmen, advertising executives, stockbrokers - and even Members of Parliament!

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 13 July 2015

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