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Chemistry A Level at South Downs College

Course description

If you enjoy a challenge and would like a really useful qualification, then Chemistry could be the subject for you.

The Salters course we follow develops knowledge and understanding of chemical principles through the applications of chemistry in today's world.

You will enjoy carrying out experiments and solving problems.

You will be confident in using basic maths such as ratio and proportion, percentages and rearranging simple algebraic formulae.

Course content

AS Level

Chemistry for Life – You will learn about the chemical elements and their origin in the stars. You will look at ideas about the structure of the atom and chemical bonding. You will investigate petrol, the formation and effects of vehicle pollutants and alternatives. Basic organic chemistry is introduced through a study of the alkanes. You will learn to do straightforward calculations involving amount of substance and energy changes.

Chemistry of Natural Resources – This module includes the extraction and handling of halogens, the design of polymers and the effect on the atmosphere of increased carbon dioxide emissions and the use of CFCs. Organic chemistry is developed by considering the formation and reactions of halogenoalkanes and alcohols. You will develop your skills in quantitative analysis using titration and carry out calculations using concentrations of solutions.

Experimental Skills – A coursework component completes the first year.

A2 Level

Chemistry of Materials – Includes the development of medicines, modern materials and the behaviour of enzymes in the body. Your knowledge of organic chemistry and spectroscopic methods of analysis will be extended. You will learn how to analyse rates of reaction using mathematical methods. A module on steel completes this unit.

Chemistry by Design – You will learn how chemists contribute to modern agricultural industry; you will gain an insight into the methods used to analyse materials used in Old Masters and develop a simple understanding of how colour is produced. A module on the oceans includes major chemical ideas such as entropy and the feasibility of reactions, equilibria and molecular-kinetic theory; you will apply your knowledge of organic chemistry to pharmacologically active compounds from ethanol to heart medicines.

An individual investigation completes the course in which you research and carry out an extended practical project taking three to four weeks of lab time


Entry requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English Language, Maths (core maths required as a 4th Subject with a C) and Bin Chemistry or B in Additional Science.


This means in order to achieve a full A level you will study the subject for two years and take all your exams at the end of this period.

Further information will be available at your College interview.

Future opportunities

Chemistry combines well with other physical and biological sciences and is an essential subject for many science-related careers. It is a required subject for entry to Medicine and Veterinary Science. It is a highly thought of qualification and nearly all Chemistry students from the College progress to higher education courses.

Career paths include: health sciences, pharmacy, nanotechnology, chemical engineering, fuel technology and forensics.


How to apply

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

Last updated date: 05 May 2016

Key information