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Chemistry A level at Bishop Thomas Grant Catholic Secondary School

Course description

All our A-Level courses are run by experienced A-Level teachers who are subject specialists and the results of August 2016 continue a trend of improvement, with the best examination results to date.  Apart from first rate teaching and learning, Year 12 and Year 13 class sizes are small which leads to more personalised learning and individual attention, and there is a weekly drop in session for each science discipline which allows students an even greater level of support as it is required.  

At the start of each year all science students benefit from a series of induction lessons to focus and up-skill them for their studies ahead.  All students receive a textbook and a course handbook which outlines the course and includes a personalised learning checklist to aid learning as well as an in-house exam technique guide designed using the wealth of experience within the department.  

This is a progressive department where we aim to nurture independent learners ready for the challenges of university and work, therefore in addition to teachers tracking progress, students are expected to take ownership of their study through the use of their MYPLC App and Google Drive.

Course content

Year 12:

Module 1: Development of practical skills in chemistry 

  • Practical skills assessed in a written examination

Module 2: Foundations in chemistry

  • Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations
  • Amount of substance
  • Acid-base and redox reactions
  • Electrons, bonding and structure

Module 3: Periodic table and energy 

  • The periodic table and periodicity
  • Group 2 and the halogens
  • Quantitative analysis
  • Enthalpy changes
  • Reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative)

Module 4: Core organic chemistry 

  • Basic concepts       
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Alcohols and haloalkanes
  • Organic synthesis
  • Analytical techniques (IR and MS)


Year 13:

Module 5: Physical chemistry and transition elements 

  • 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 

  • Aromatic compounds      
  • Carbonyl compounds
  • Carboxylic acids and esters
  • Nitrogen Compounds  
  • Polymers
  • Organic synthesis
  • Chromatography and spectroscopy (NMR) 

Entry requirements

Grade A in GCSE Chemistry and Biology or Physics

Grade A in GCSE Science A and A in Additonal Science

Grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics

Grade 6 in GCSE English Language

Preferably studied in conjuction with Biology, Physics or Mathematics


AS level:

Paper 1: Breadth in Chemistry 

  • Written paper, 1h 30 min: 70 marks; 50% of AS level

Paper 2: Depth in Chemistry 

  • Written paper, 1h 30 min: 70 marks; 50% of AS level


A level:

Paper 1: Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry (modules 1-3, 5)

  • Written paper, 2h 15 min: 100 marks; 37% of A level

Paper 2: Synthesis and analytical techniques (modules 1,2,4,6)

  • Written paper, 2h 15 min: 100 marks; 37% of A level

Paper 3: Unified Chemistry (modules 1-6)

  • Written paper, 1h 30 min: 70 marks; 26% of A level

Future opportunities

Chemistry is a necessity for those wishing to study medicine, veterinary science, pharmacy, forensics and biological subjects at university.

It is an excellent subject to compliment physics and mathematics for those wishing to study engineering.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Bishop Thomas Grant Catholic Secondary School directly.

Last updated date: 01 December 2016
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