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Chemistry at Downham Market Academy

Course description

Chemistry is the study of matter – the ‘stuff’ that makes up us and everything around us – why it be haves the way it does, and how we can manipulate and change it. So whether you are interested in saving the environment, improving human health, engineering better racing cars, designing beautiful buildings, developing a go - faster swimming costume, solving our future energy needs or catching criminals, understanding chemistry can help you.

Chemistry interfaces broadly with other areas of science – not just physics and biology, but geology and astronomy, so if you think you might want to study any science, or medicine, beyond A level, chemistry is an important part of your tool kit. However, chemistry isn’t just for future scientists. Studying chemistry at AS / A level develops your problem - solving skills, numeracy and attention to detail – all of which mean that people with a chemistry background are highly sought after in areas such as finance and law.

Course content

The modules studied are:

1. Development of practical skills in chemistry

2. Foundations in chemistry

3. Periodic table and energy

4. Core organic chemistry

5. Physical chemistry and transition elements

6. Organic chemistry and analysis

The first four modules are common to both AS and A level courses.

Entry requirements

This is a very demanding AS / A level. You must have at least B grades in either Science and Additional Science or in each of the separate sciences at GCSE, as well as at least a B grade in maths. It is highly desirable to combine chemistry with maths at A level.



AS students sit two 1 hour 30 minute written papers at the end of year 12, both of which assess content f rom modules 1 - 4 inclusive. A level students sit two 2 hour 15 minute, and one 1 hour 30 minute written papers at the end of year 13. The longer papers focus on either physical and inorganic, or organic chemistry, whilst the shorter paper will assess unders tanding of all six modules.

Practical Work

Practical work is clearly fundamental to chemistry, and we will do as much as possible during the two years of the course.

Practical work no longer counts directly to the final grade at AS or A level, but unders tanding of practical techniques and experimental design are assessed as part of the written exam. For A level students a ‘practical endorsement in chemistry’ is reported alongside the final grade, for example to universities.

This is a pass/fail judgement made by your teachers, based on your performance across a wide range of practical skills, including a minimum of 12 core practical tasks. All practical work will need to be written up in a formal lab book that is kept in college as evidence of your develop ing practical abilities.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Downham Market Academy directly.

Last updated date: 09 October 2017

Key information

  • Start date: Next September