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Chemistry at St Mary's Catholic High School

Course description

Chemistry is an important science both from a career point of view and its value in our everyday lives, and because of this, many students choose this challenging and interesting course. The AQA course aims to develop both knowledge and ideas met at GCSE to enable students to understand the fundamental concepts in chemistry
and to develop the skills needed to use these in new, more challenging situations.


Students who choose the AS Chemistry course will study three modules for one year with topics ranging from atomic structures through periodic trends, mineral extraction, petroleum industry, thermochemistry, polymers, mass spectroscopy to redox. A2 Chemistry covers many topics including kinetics, equilibria, organic chemistry,energetics, redox and inorganic chemistry. Full details can be found on the exam board website:

Course content

Students who choose the AS Chemistry course will study the following units:

Unit 1 Foundation Chemistry
Atomic Structure
Amount of Substance
Bonding and Periodicity
Organic chemistry

Unit 2 Chemistry in Action
Energetics, Kinetics, Equilibrium,Redox
Halogens, Alkaline Earth Metals
Extraction of Metals
Analytical Techniques

Unit 3

Unit 4 Kinetics, Equilibria and Organic Chemistry
Kinetics, Equilibria, Acids and Bases, Isomerism
Carbonyl Compounds, Acylation, Aromatic Chemistry
Amines, Amino Acids and Proteins, Polymers
Organic Synthesis and Analysis, Structure Determination

Unit 5 Energetics, Redox and Inorganic Chemistry
Enthalpy, Entropy, Periodicity, Redox Equilibria
Transition Metals and Catalysts, Transition Metal Complexes
Transition Metals and Colour, Acidity or Hydrolysis
Substitution Reactions, Overview of Inorganic Reactions

Unit 6

Entry requirements

For AS study you will need a minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade B with a minimum of one other GCSE grade C or above.  You must have GCSE Maths and English at a grade C or above.  We would expect you to have at least a GCSE  grade B in the subject you wish to study or a closely related discipline.

Financial information

St. Mary’s Sixth Form has a bursary scheme that supports students, who meet eligibility criteria, with the cost of attending college.

The bursary scheme is made up of 2 parts - a payment of £1,200 to a small group of the most vulnerable and a discretionary fund for schools to distribute. The most vulnerable are classified as:

• young people in care;

• care leavers;          

• young people in receipt of Income Support;

• disabled young people in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) who are also in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

The discretionary element can be accessed via an application form and students should contact the Sixth Form office for further details. The College will consider every request for financial assistance and will endeavour to target the fund to help those students in greatest need

Future opportunities

Chemistry is an essential science for many courses such as medicine, dentistry and veterinary science but because it is closely linked with Physics and Biology, it is a beneficial science to have when studying any science-based course in HE or following a science-based career.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years