Chemistry is the study of the basic elements and their compounds that make up the material of our world.

Overview

Understanding the properties of the basic elements, developing drugs to battle diseases or developing new technologies to make better use of our natural resources are all applications of this critical subject.


Board: OCR A
 

Through a combination of theoretical seminars and practical laboratory work, the A level and AS level programmes provide an in-depth look into the current principles and understanding of chemistry, as well as an introduction into the recent areas of research and development shaping our world today.

Course Structure

Teaching begins in September (January for 18 month courses). In the first year you will cover the following four main topics:

  • Development of Practical Skills in Chemistry
  • Foundations in Chemistry
  • Periodic Table and Energy
  • Core Organic Chemistry
 

Students mayl take the AS exam at the end of the first year of the programme. The second year then builds on this foundation for the completion of the full A level. In the second year you will focus on the following topics:

  • Physical Chemistry and Transition Elements
  • Organic Chemistry and Analysis

Exam Structure

AS Exam Format

Paper 1 Paper 2
Breadth in Chemistry
1 hour and 30 minutes
Depth in Chemistry
1 hour and 30 minutes
 

A2 Exam Format

Paper 1 Paper 2 Paper 3
Periodic Table, Elements and Physical Chemistry
2 hours and 15 minutes
Synthesis and Analytical Techniques
2 hours and 15 minutes
Unified Chemistry
1 hour and 30 minutes

In addition, students must complete a minimum of 12 practical activities to demonstrate practical competence, which are separately assessed.

Chemistry One-Year A level

The board, format and content are the same as the two-year programme, but the course is covered in the space of one year. The stand-alone AS papers would not be sat.

 

Programme Requirements

Students need at least grade C at GCSE Chemistry, Dual Award Science, or equivalent.

Related Further Study and Careers

While chemistry is often chosen alongside at least one other science subject or mathematics, it can accompany a wide range of other subjects. If it is chosen alongside other sciences, it prepares students for degrees courses such as Chemistry, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Pharmacology, Forensic Science and sciences in general. It is seen as a facilitating subject and chemistry graduates can progress on to many fields other than the sciences.


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