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Chemistry A level **FEES PAYABLE** at Marlborough College

Course description

Chemistry A is a modern and relevant Chemistry course, clearly structured and flexible so that pupils of all abilities can engage with the course. Emphasis throughout the course is on developing knowledge, competence and confidence in practical skills and problem solving. Students learn how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society. Practical skills are assessed in a straightforward and concise manner which allows pupils to make steady progress towards the separate Practical Endorsement.

Course content

The content, studied over two years is divided into chemical topics, each containing different key concepts of chemistry. Once the key features of a chemical topic have been developed, applications are considered. The teaching and learning of practical skills are integrated with the theoretical topics, and are examined both in the written papers and through the separate Practical Endorsement. This allows practical and laboratory skills to be developed in a way suited to each individual pupil, combining academic challenge with practical focus.

The course comprises six modules, one of which is devoted to the assessment of laboratory practical skills. 

MODULE 1: Development of practical skills in chemistry.

The practical skills in this module can be assessed within written examinations (externally) and within the Practical Endorsement (internally at the College).

MODULE 2: Foundations in chemistry.

Topics include: Atoms and reactions; Amount of substance; Acid – base and redox reactions; Electrons, bonding and structure.

MODULE 3: Periodic table and energy.

Topics include: The periodic table; Group 2 and the halogens; Qualitative analysis; Enthalpy changes; Reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative).

MODULE 4: Core organic chemistry.

Topics include: Basic concepts; Hydrocarbons; Alcohols and haloalkanes; Organic synthesis; Analytical techniques (Infra-Red spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry).

MODULE 5: Physical Chemistry and transition elements.

Topics include: Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative); pH and buffers; Enthalpy, entropy and free energy; Redox and electrode potentials; Transition elements.

MODULE 6: Organic Chemistry and analysis.

Topics include: Aromatic compounds; Carbonyl compounds; Carboxylic acids and esters; Nitrogen compounds; Polymers; Organic synthesis; Chromatography and spectroscopy


Assessment consists of three written papers taken at the end of the course.

  1. Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry (Modules 1,2,3 and 5) 2 hours 15 minutes, 37%
  2. Synthesis and analytical techniques (Modules 1,2,4 and 6) 2 hours 15 minutes, 37%
  3. Unified chemistry (Modules 1 to 6) 1 hour 30 minutes, 26%

Practical skills are assessed continuously throughout the course, candidates completing a minimum of 12 practical activities to demonstrate practical competence.

Financial information

A full range of resources are available, including current undergraduate texts and computer software packages as used in our most prestigious universities.

Further information

Our co-curricular activities include day trips to visit our colleagues in industry, and we have particularly close links with the School of Chemistry, University of Bristol. Bristol ChemLabS (Bristol Chemical Laboratory Sciences) is a UK Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. 

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 18 November 2016
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