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Chemistry AS/A Level at Brockenhurst College

Course description

The study of chemistry gives you the opportunity to develop a wide range of key skills, including oral and written communication, working in teams, problem-solving and the use of IT. Chemistry is a very challenging subject but it can also be exciting, stimulating and enjoyable.

A good ‘A’ level qualification in Chemistry is highly regarded by employers and universities because it demonstrates a very wide range of competences, both academic and personal. It is an essential qualification for progression into careers such as Medicine, Veterinary Science, Biomedical Science and Pharmacy. In addition it is desirable for the study of Engineering, Geology, Archaeology, Environmental Science, Dietetics, Nursing and Agriculture.

At Brockenhurst we use the OCR – A specification.  This is divided into units designed to develop a knowledge and understanding of the key concepts of chemistry.  Most lessions are teacher-led, involving class discussion, taking notes and working through questions.  Practical work is used to illustrate ideas and to learn practical skills and techniques.

Chemistry is a fascinating and fundamental subject.  The course is divided into 13 chemical modules, each exploring a topic containing different key concepts.  Once the features of a chemical topic have been developed, the applications and relevance to everyday life are considered.  Examples in the first year include the study of fundamental areas such as chemical bonding and contemporary issues such as atmospheric chemistry.  In the second year these topics are studied in more depth and new areas introduced such as 13C NMR spectroscopy.  A variety of teaching methods are used with emphasis on practical experimentation.  Assessment is by written examination and assessment of practical skills.

Course content

In the first year we cover 3 units and in the second 2 units.

A wide range of activities are used including laboratory practical experiments, data analysis, group work, analytical analysis and computer work.

The topics covered in the AS year provide a firm foundation in basic chemical principles.

  • Foundations in chemistry
  • Periodic table and energy
  • Core organic chemistry

In the A2 year, these are expanded through further study in;

  • Physical chemistry and transition elements
  • Organic chemistry and analysis

Entry requirements

The OCR 'A' Level course forms a natural progression from GCSE Science and we would normally expect you to have achieved Grade BB in Core and Additional Science or B in Chemistry and in one other GCSE Science, and grade B in GCSE Maths and English Language or Literature.


Assessment is by written examination and assessment of practical skills.

Financial information

We require first year students to purchase a textbook which contains most of the material required for the AS course. A single payment of £18 covers the cost of this book, together with a contribution to the cost of providing lab coats and safety glasses.  Other learning materials that we use can be downloaded from my.brock.

Future opportunities

Most students who successfully complete the full A-level course (AS + A2) progress to study for degrees in a wide variety of subjects, including Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Biology, Marine Biology, Environmental Science, Medicine and Physiotherapy.

Further information

Students who are asthmatic or who are likely to be allergic to common laboratory chemicals should inform us before the start of the course so that lecturers are aware of the situation. Any information passed to us will be treated in the strictest confidence.

A range of text books and periodicals are available in the Department, or in the LRC, for reference. Details will be provided in the Course Handbook which you will receive at the start of the course.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 18 February 2016

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