A Level Chemistry

Please note: students in Year 12 (September 2015) are now following the new specification as outlined below and Year 13 (September 2015) will be following the legacy course outlined underneath

AQA (AS: 7404, A-Level 7405)

Why study chemistry?

From the moment you are born, and throughout your life, you are surrounded by chemistry – the air you breathe, the food you eat and the clothes you wear – they’re all chemistry. Chemistry is the study of substances; what they are made of, how they interact with each other and the role they play in living things. Whether you want to care for penguin colonies in Antarctica or work in a dynamic business environment, chemistry can help you achieve your goals. From research in space, to the depths of the oceans, chemistry helps you understand the world around you and opens up lots of career opportunities. A chemistry qualification can take you almost anywhere.

As a Chemist you could:

  • Make medicines to fight cancer
  • Develop exciting new ice cream flavours
  • Create new make-up and hair products
  • Design marketing campaigns
  • Make new materials for faster computers and more complex mobile phones
  • Protect the environment

There are loads of interesting and rewarding science-based jobs in the lab, outdoors and in other areas you might not have thought of, such as science journalism, patent law and publishing. The skills you develop while studying chemistry mean that you can do a whole range of other jobs as well, such as management, sales and marketing, ICT and finance.

The Course

Chemistry is split into three areas; Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. You will have two teachers for chemistry who, between them, will teach you every aspect of the course.

The A-Level course is more detailed and more in depth than the AS course. The A-Level course also allows you to gain an endorsement for the practical tasks you carry out.

The following courses are covered in each of the three areas:

Physical Chemistry

Inorganic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

  • Atomic structure
  • Amount of substance
  • Bonding
  • Energetics
  • Kinetics
  • Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc
  • Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
  • Thermodynamics (A-level only)
  • Rate equations (A-level only)
  • Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems (A-level only)
  • Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells (A-level only)
  • Acids and bases (A-level only)

 

 

  • Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
  • Group 7(17), the halogens
  • Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides (A-level only)
  • Transition metals (A-level only)
  • Reactions of ions in aqueous solution (A-level only)
  • Introduction to organic chemistry
  • Alkanes
  • Halogenoalkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Alcohols
  • Organic analysis
  • Optical isomerism (A-level only)
  • Aldehydes and ketones (A-level only)
  • Carboxylic acids and derivatives (A-level only)
  • Aromatic chemistry (A-level only)
  • Amines (A-level only)
  • Polymers (A-level only)
  • Amino acids, proteins and DNA (A-level only)
  • Organic synthesis (A-level only)
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (A-level only)
  • Chromatography (A-level only)

 

For a more detailed description of the chemistry course please visit the AQA website : http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/chemistry-7404-7405

Assessment

AS Chemistry


Paper 1: Relevant physical chemistry topics, inorganic chemistry and relevant practical skills. Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes; 80 marks; 50% of the AS.

Paper 2: Relevant physical chemistry topics, organic chemistry and relevant practical skills. Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes; 80 marks; 50% of the AS.

A-Level Chemistry


Paper 1: Relevant physical chemistry topics, inorganic chemistry and relevant practical skills. Written exam: 2 hours; 105 marks; 35% of A-Level.

Paper 2: Relevant physical chemistry topics, organic chemistry and relevant practical skills. Written exam: 2 hours; 105 marks; 35% of A-Level.

Paper 3: Any content and any practical skills. Written exam: 2 hours; 90 marks; 30% of A-Level.

Please note: The following course is for current (September 2015) Year 13 students only  

AQA (AS: 1429, A2: 2420)

Who should study Chemistry?

Studying A-level in Chemistry will introduce you to the tools that chemists use in industry.

Chemistry is a compulsory subject at A-level should you wish to study medicine or dentistry at university. 

The Course

AS Chemistry

Unit 1 Foundation Chemistry

Examination paper – 4 or 5 short answer questions plus 1 longer structured question (1¼ hours)

Unit 2 Chemistry in Action

Examination paper – 6 or 8 short answer questions plus 2 longer structured questions (1¾ hours)

Unit 3 Investigative and Practical Skills in AS Chemistry

AS Centre-Assessed Unit (coursework)

Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA)

Practical Skills Assessment (PSA)

A2 Chemistry

Unit 4 Kinetics, Equilibria and Organic Chemistry

Examination paper – 6 or 8 short answer questions plus 2 structured questions (1¾ hours: 20% of the total A-level marks)

Unit 5 Energetics, Redox and Inorganic Chemistry

Examination paper – 5 or 7 short answer questions plus 2 or 3 longer structured questions (1¾ hours: 20% of the total A-level marks)

Unit 6 Investigative and Practical Skills in A2 Chemistry

A2 Centre-Assessed Unit (coursework)

Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA)

Practical Skills Assessment (PSA)

10% of total A-level marks

Where it leads

When combined with other Science subjects and Mathematics, Chemistry leads to a number of different careers, including  Dentistry, Pharmacy, Medicine, Research and Engineering.