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Chemistry at The Bishop's Stortford High School

Course description

Examination Board: AQA.

Chemistry is an exciting and dynamic subject that is essential to the world we live in. When we start our cars, use a computer, boil an egg, take a medicine, use cosmetics or simply breathe we are using chemistry.

Studying A-level Chemistry allows the opportunity to understand these chemical reactions that we come across everyday and explore the new innovations of material science. Chemists help to find solutions to the problems facing modern society.

What makes a good Chemist?

A good Chemist must, first and foremost, enjoy and be enthusiastic about the subject. Chemistry will suit anyone who has an inquiring mind, an ability to analyse and evaluate data and good practical skills. Attention to detail is a must along with strong mathematical skills. It is also advantageous to be studying complementary subjects such as Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Geography or Product Design.

Course content


Chemistry consists of 3 units:

* Foundation Chemistry - This explores the fundamental principles that form the basis of chemistry. The topics covered in this unit are: atomic structure, amount of substance, bonding, periodicity, introduction to organic chemistry and alkanes.

* Chemistry in Action - This unit introduces more principles that underpin chemistry and looks at the applications of these principles and those that have been developed in unit one. The topics covered in this unit are: energetics, kinetics (rates of reaction), equilibria, redox reactions, the Halogens, the Alkaline Earth Metals, extraction of metals, haloalkanes, alkenes, alcohols and analytical techniques.

* Investigative and Practical Skills - This unit is assessed as two skill areas.

Practical Skills Assessments (PSAs) are completed throughout the course as part of the normal practical work undertaken in lessons.

The Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA) is set by the exam board and completed under controlled conditions in school time.The students will have the opportunity to do a practice ISA before completing the actual assessment.


Chemistry also consists of three units:

* Kinetics, Equilibria, and Organic Chemistry.

* Energetics, Redox and Inorganic Chemistry.

* Investigative and Practical Skills.

Entry requirements

B grade or above in GCSE Chemistry Additional Science.


Examinations: 80% (January and June).

Coursework: 20%.

Future opportunities

Chemistry is essential for anyone wishing to pursue a career in Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Biomedical Sciences, Pharmacology, Pharmacy, Natural Sciences, Biochemistry, Physiotherapy and Sports Science. An A-Level in Chemistry can lead into a multitude of careers.The skills of analysis, logical thinking, planning, an ability to perform calculations, modelling and evaluation can be used in all fields from business and finance through to law.

Chemistry is very highly regarded by universities and employers. It is thought of as a very academic subject and success shows students have significant independent learning skills.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Bishop's Stortford High School directly.

Last updated date: 26 May 2015
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