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Chemistry A Level at Cirencester College

Course description

The A level Chemistry is divided into 6 modules:

  • Development of Practical Skills in Chemistry 
  • Foundations in Chemistry
  • Periodic Table and Energy 
  • Core Organic Chemistry 
  • Physical Chemistry and Transition Elements
  • Organic Chemistry and Analysis In Development of Practical Skills in Chemistry unit:You will develop a range of practical skills throughout the course in preparation for the written examinations. You will be working in the lab and are therefore expected to wear appropriate shoes and clothing. Lecturers will give warning of practicals well in advance. Ignoring this will result in students exclusion of practicals and they will have to catch up in their own time.In Foundations in Chemistry unit:You will start with atomic structure, the mole, stoichiometry, redox, intermolecular forces, and shapes.In Periodic Table and Energy unit:You will look at trends in the Periodic Table, Redox reactions of group 2 and group 7. This module also contains Qualitative analysis, Thermodynamics and Kinetics.In Core Organic Chemistry unit

The Chemistry of alkanes, alkenes, alcohols and halogenoalkanes and the idea of a functional group is introduced. The uses of these substances are covered. We will also look at in synthetic routes within organic synthesis.

In Physical Chemistry and Transition elements unit:

We will be looking in more details at Thermodynamics, e.g. Gibbs Free Energy and Kinetics, equilibrium positions followed by some Electro chemistry and Transition elements.

In Organic Chemistry and Analysis unit:

We begin by looking at Aromatic Chemistry, acids and amines. The uses and synthesis of polymers is also covered. More details are given on how spectroscopy can be used to help to identify the various compounds.

Course content

Practical endorsement:

1. Moles determination (measurement of mass/volume)

2. Acid-base titration (pipettes and burettes)

3. Enthalpy determination (measurement of temperature)

4. Qualitative analysis of ions

5. Synthesis of an organic liquid (reflux, distillation, separating funnel)

6. Synthesis of an organic solid (recrystallization, melting point, tlc)

7. Qualitative analysis of organic functional groups

8. Electrochemical cells (measurement of potential difference)

9. Rates of reaction (continuous monitoring method)

10. Rates of reaction (initial rates method)

11. pH measurement

12. Research skills (online research, citing sources)

Entry requirements

GCSE grade B in Chemistry OR grade B in both Science AND Additional Science. Grade 6 in Maths.


There are three written examinations in the Summer and your practical skills will be assessed throughout the year.
Paper 1, 2h 15 min long represents 37% of the overall A level mark.
Paper 2, 2h 15 min long represents 37% of the overall A level mark.
Paper 3, 1h 30 min long represents 26% of the overall A level mark. Practical endorsement is pass or fail.

Future opportunities

A Level Chemistry A is an excellent base for a university degree in healthcare such as medicine, pharmacy and dentistry as well as the biological sciences, physics, mathematics, pharmacology and analytical chemistry. Chemistry is also taken by many law applicants as it shows you can cope with difficult concepts. Chemistry can also complement a number of arts subjects.

It can also lead to a range of career opportunities including chemical, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries and in areas such as forensics, environmental protection and healthcare. The problem solving skills are useful for many other areas, too, such as law and finance.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Cirencester College directly.

Last updated date: 27 January 2017
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