Accessibility links

Chemistry AS/A Level at South Dartmoor Community College

Course description

Chemistry has always been a fascinating subject and the history of chemistry goes back a long way from the alchemy of the dark ages to the pioneering experiments of Rutherford, Geiger and Marsden in the early 20th century. Chemistry is an important part of everyone’s life, whether they realise it or not, and chemists are found in a wide variety of organisations; from engineering to medicine to environmental analysis.

Chemistry is concerned with materials and substances of all kinds. It is often called the central science because it has strong links with both biology and physics. Chemists study the molecules within our bodies and those throughout the whole universe. You will learn about a wide range of interesting chemicals and techniques, finding out how raw materials such as oil or sand can be transformed into valuable products such as nylon, aspirins, paint, glass and silicon chips. You will develop the skills of practical chemistry, learning how to handle chemicals and apparatus. You will also develop the creative skills of planning how to make new chemicals, and the skills of logic involved in working out their properties.

Course content

The course builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding set out in GCSE Chemistry and Additional Science. Students will look at the application and implications of Chemistry and the development of scientific ideas in a range of contemporary contexts.

This course is distinctive in that every aspect of chemistry is placed in context, ideas are introduced when relevant and these are consolidated and developed in throughout later modules. This technique of studying ideas in a relevant context and then building on them by repeating the process in later modules is central to the chemistry course at this level.

Entry requirements

5 GCSE passes at grade C or above but this must include GCSE Core and Additional Science at grades BB or GCSE Chemistry and one other science GCSE, both with B grades. A grade B in Mathematics is also a requirement.


Student’s knowledge, application and practical skills are continuously assessed throughout the year using in lesson strategies, home learning and end of topic tests. There are regular mock exams based upon exam style questions that provide students and staff with a guide as to the progress being made. Students will be externally assessed for the final A Level at the end of year 13.

Future opportunities

Non graduate jobs may include lab assistant, dental assistant, or veterinary assistant but these usually require further training. Graduate jobs may include analytical chemist, biomedical scientist, colour technologist, industrial research scientist, materials engineer, process development scientist, product development scientist, quality assurance officer, research scientist, secondary school teacher, FE or HE lecturer.

Further information

There are three dedicated chemistry laboratories, equipped to a high standard with a very wide range of modern equipment. Each student is allocated course text books, with many others available. In addition, the Library has a range of reference materials which are available for extension or self-led studies.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact South Dartmoor Community College directly.

Last updated date: 21 September 2016

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 Years