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Chemistry A-Level at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College

Course description

Dyes, synthetic fibres, plastics, medicines, insecticides, special metals and alloys and other modern materials owe their existence to the work of the Chemist.
Chemistry occupies a central position amongst the sciences. It is closely linked with biological and medical science and has important connections with engineering, environmental, forensic and earth sciences.

The four module AS course contains a practical module which aims to develop experimental techniques that will be assessed as part of the examinations.  A second module builds on the content of GCSE Chemistry/GCSE Science and develops essential knowledge and understanding. The third module provides a framework for the study of inorganic and physical chemistry, with the fourth module focussing on organic chemistry.  

Course content

AS Chemistry

  • Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry
  • Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry
  • Module 3 – Periodic table and energy
  • Module 4 – Core organic chemistry
A Level Chemistry

The A level course contains and extends the AS work on Organic and Physical Chemistry and includes a study of the Transitions Metals, Equilibrium and Acids. Throughout the course students will build up a portfolio of exemplars that demonstrate the development of their practical skills

Course Content

  • Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry
  • Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry
  • Module 3 – Periodic table and energy
  • Module 4 – Core organic chemistry
  • Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements
  • Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis
How it is taught

Teachers will guide students through the course details of which are covered in textbooks. Students are also issued with useful supporting texts to help in ‘bridging the gap’ from GCSE and to provide more detailed and background information as the course progresses.

Practical work integrates well with class work and theory. In routine experiments, students usually work together in pairs.

Students are encouraged to take greater responsibility for their own learning than at GCSE and regular completion of homework assignments will be expected. The course involves a significant amount of mathematical content.

Both the AS and A level courses provide an interesting and satisfying educational experience even for those not intending to take their study of Chemistry further

Entry requirements

The usual entry requirement to QE is 5 GCSE grades at C or above including Maths or English. A good number of students study four AS Levels in their first year and to do this we require at least 3B grades and 3C grades at GCSE including Maths and English Language. Students who do not achieve these GCSE grades take fewer subjects at A Level and will be required to do resits in GCSE Maths and English if they have not already achieved a grade C in these core subjects. The College is large enough to have a very flexible timetable that allows students to take almost any combination of subjects at A Level. The advantage of this system is that we can tailor your programme to suit your needs and abilities. We give lots of advice if you decide to apply to the College.

Subject Specific

In addition to the College general entry requirements for A Level study, students who wish to enrol on the AS Chemistry course should have at least a grade B in GCSE Maths and one of the following:

• Grade B in Core GCSE Science and grade B in Additional Science
• Grade B in GCSE Chemistry

A pass in Single Award Science does not provide an adequate basis for starting the AS Course.


AS Chemistry

Two 1 hour 30 minute papers in May/June 2016.
Both papers will assess all of the content.

A Level Chemistry

Three exam papers will assess all of the content as follows:

Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry (covering content from modules 1,2,3 & 5) 100 marks

  • 2 hours 15 minutes written paper
  • 37% of total A level

Synthesis and analytical techniques (covering content from modules 1,2,4 & 6) 100 marks

  • 2 hours 15 minutes written paper
  • 37% of total A level

Unified chemistry (covering content from all six modules) 70 marks

  • 1 hour 30 minutes written paper
  • 26% of total A level

Future opportunities

Chemistry is an essential subject for many science degree courses and it is a useful advanced level subject for entry into engineering and a number of non science degrees.

Some examples of science and engineering degree courses/careers that our students have taken after completing Advanced Level Chemistry:

  • Agriculture/Ecology Food Science
  • Anatomy/Physiology Genetics
  • Biology/Biochemistry Material Science/Metallurgy
  • Botany/Zoology Medicine
  • Chemical Engineering Microbiology
  • Chemistry Ophthalmic Optics
  • Dentistry Pharmacy/Pharmacology
  • Environmental Science Veterinary Science

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 17 April 2015
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