Chemistry

Examination Board

Edexcel

Specific Course Requirements

Minimum Grades for 'A' Level Sciences:
Combined Science (Double): 67 or 76
Separate Science (Triple): 667, 676, 766
Students with 66 or 666 might be accepted in exceptional circumstances.
Please see the 6th Form Prospectus, issued at the 6th Form Introductory Evening in November.

Course Content

The subject is informally split into three areas: Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry. These are interwoven so that a variety of topics are taught throughout. There is an emphasis on practical work which is carried out on an individual basis wherever possible. Students will be given regular homework tasks which will involve research and sample examination questions amongst other written tasks. The theory of the course will complement the practical work and will seek to explain modern Chemistry in contexts such as climate change, green chemistry, pharmaceuticals and chemical research.

What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

You should be willing to work hard and to think independently, as the conceptual demand of the subject is very high. You should be confident with chemical equations and simple numerical chemistry such as reacting masses, as well as be able to use standard laboratory equipment safely and competently.

How will I be assessed on this course?

The ‘A’ Level final exam grade will be based on 3 written papers; Paper 1 (Advanced Inorganic and Physical Chemistry) , Paper 2 (Advanced Organic and Physical Chemistry) and Paper 3 (General and Practical Principles in Chemistry ), each worth 30%, 30% and 40% respectively.  In addition to the final exam, you will be awarded a separate pass/fail Practical Endorsement.  The Practical Endorsement is based on your ability to show proficiency in practical work during the two year course. The practicals that will be assessed, includes 16 exam board recommended core practicals. 

What could I do with a qualification in this subject?

An ‘A’ Level in Chemistry is an excellent preparation for a degree in the Physical or Biological Sciences, as well as a requirement for entrance into most medical related courses. The skills you would develop during the course would be useful for many career paths.

The three most commonly asked questions about this course are:

Do I need to do Chemistry ‘A’ Level in order to apply for Medical School?

Yes.

How much Mathematics is there in the course?

Chemistry is a numerical subject; however the mathematical demand does not require you to study Mathematics ‘A’ Level in addition, although it may assist you.

Is there a lot of practical work?

Chemistry is a practical subject, as well as a theoretical one, so practical work is a very important aspect of the course.