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Chemistry A/As level at Gowerton School

Course description

GCE A Level Chemistry

This specification has been designed to meet the general criteria for GCE AS and A level (A) and the subject criteria for AS/A Chemistry as issued by the regulators [July 2006]. The qualifications will comply with the grading, awarding and certification requirements of the Code of Practice for general qualifications (including GCE).

Course content

AS consists of three assessment units, referred to in this specification as CH1, CH2 and CH3.

A2 also consists of three units and these are referred to as CH4, CH5 and CH6.

UNIT CH1 Controlling and Using Chemical Changes

This unit begins with some important fundamental ideas about atoms and the use of the mole concept in calculations. Three key principles governing chemical change are then studied, viz., the position of equilibrium between reactants and products, the energy changes associated with a chemical reaction and the rate at which reactions take place. These principles are then applied to some important problems in the fields of chemical synthesis, obtaining energy and the maintenance of the environment.

UNIT CH2 Properties, Structure and Bonding

The uses to which materials can be put depend on their properties, which in turn depend on the bonding and structure within the material. By understanding the relationship between these factors, chemists are able to design new materials. The types of forces that can exist between particles are studied, along with several types of solid structures, in order to illustrate how these factors influence properties. The building blocks of materials are the elements and the relationship of their properties to their position in the Periodic Table is illustrated by a study of the elements of the s-block and Group 7. An introduction to organic chemistry provides the basis for an understanding of how the properties of carbon compounds can be modified by the introduction of functional groups. A2 Chemistry

Unit CH 4 Spectroscopy and Organic Chemistry (Analysis and building molecules)

This unit builds on the foundation ideas of spectroscopy and basic organic chemistry introduced at AS level and goes on to explore these concepts in more detail. It also explores the use of these topics in structure elucidation, in synthesis and in industrial and environmental applications.

Unit CH 5 Physical and Inorganic Chemistry

This unit develops ideas of redox, kinetics, energy changes and equilibria. The inorganic chemistry of some elements in various sections of the Periodic Table is studied.

Entry requirements

Prior learning

The specification is equally accessible to all irrespective of age, gender and ethnic, religious or cultural background. The specification is not age-specific and provides opportunities for life-long learning. The specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills set out in the national curriculum Key Stage 4 programme of study for Science and Additional Science and related courses. 


The AS qualification will be reported on a five-grade scale of A, B, C, D, E.

The A level qualification will be reported on a six-grade scale of A*, A, B, C, D, E.

The award of A* at A level will provide recognition of the additional demands presented by the A2 units in term of stretch and challenge and synoptic requirements. Candidates who fail to reach the minimum standard for grade E are recorded as U (unclassified), and do not receive a certificate. The level of demand of the AS examination is that expected of candidates half way through a full A level course. The AS assessment units will have equal weighting with the second half of the qualification (A2) when these are aggregated to produce the A level award.

Future opportunities

Progression The six part structure of this specification (3 units for AS, and an additional 3 for the full A level) allows for both staged and end-of-course assessment and thus allows candidates to defer decisions about progression from AS to the full A level qualification.

This specification provides a suitable foundation for the study of Chemistry or a related area through a range of higher education courses (e.g. Chemistry, Medicine, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Chemical Engineering, etc., etc.) or direct entry into employment. In addition, the specification provides a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study for candidates who do not progress to further study in this subject.

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: 13 November 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: A level - 2 years As - one year