A Level Chemistry
- Six GCSEs 9-4 (or A*-C),Two from English, Maths OR Science
- Two at least grade 6 (or B)
- GCSE Maths (higher tier) grade 9-6 WITH EITHER GCSE Chemistry grade 9-6 OR GCSE Combined Science grades 9,9-6,6
Please Note: Students following a combination of Maths/Biology/Chemistry/Physics A level courses are required to have at least one GCSE grade 7 in one of these chosen subjects.
What will I study?
First year study
A level Chemistry builds on ideas that you have studied in school. In the first year of study you will develop your knowledge and understanding of atomic structure and ideas on which numerical work and inorganic chemistry are based. Topics include Atoms, Amount of Substance, Acids, Redox and Bonding as well as looking at trends and patterns in the Periodic Table.
You will build on your ideas of organic chemistry from school. It will give you a foundation for studying the functional groups of molecules and their reactions and raise issues about applying organic chemistry to everyday life. We also cover some fundamental physical chemistry involving energy calculations, rates of reactions and equilibria. Assessment of all modules is by written examination.
Practical skills are developed throughout the year with practical work being carried out each week. Practical skills are assessed as part of the written examinations and also via a separate standalone assessment completed in the second year of study.
Second year study
You will study more organic, physical and inorganic chemistry with a strong emphasis on analysis and problem solving. Practical skills are developed further and assessed via written examination and through the Practical Endorsement, which is awarded separately to the A Level.
You will learn how to approach problems in a logical and analytical way, as well as using and developing your skills in communication, organisation and logical thinking. Basically it will make you a well rounded scientist!
An A Level in Chemistry will allow you to pursue any number of avenues such as medical and veterinary courses or other science careers/courses like forensics and geology. You may even decide to change tack completely and go on to study Law or Accountancy among others.
Why Study Chemistry?
Chemistry is a great subject to study. If you enjoy problem solving and were intrigued about what you learned at GCSE, then Chemistry is for you! Furthermore, studying Chemistry allows you to develop a huge range of skills that you can take forward to any course at University or to any workplace. Studying chemistry opens many doors!
What grades do I need to do Chemistry?
Six GCSEs 9-4 (or A*-C), two from English, Maths OR Science Two at least grade 6 (or B) GCSE Maths (higher tier) grade 9-6 WITH EITHER GCSE Chemistry grade 9-6 OR GCSE Combined Science grades 9,9-6,6
Please Note: It is highly recommended that students following a
combination of Maths/Biology/Chemistry/Physics A level courses
have at least one GCSE grade 7 in one of these chosen subjects.
How does studying A level compare to GCSE?
Many of the concepts studied at GCSE come back but we go into more detail. Many of the topics become quite mathematical, like rates and equilibrium, with lots of lovely problem solving. There is lots of exciting organic chemistry too, so if you were intrigued by alkanes and alkenes, get ready for ester and ketones and nitriles...to name just a few.
What are the practicals like?
As part of studying A Level Chemistry all students complete the practical endorsement. Over the two years, you will learn many new technical skills in order to pass this. Practicals are also a great way of putting into context theoretical aspects of the course. It is also a good opportunity for group work and developing your analysis skills. Practicals are fun, you even get to make silver!
How long are the lessons?
Over the course of the week you will have 4 ½ hours of lessons per subject.
What support can I expect if I study chemistry?
There is lots of support available in Chemistry. We have ambassadors who help with our drop-in sessions and you can ask teachers for help if you are stuck on homework or need some hints and tips on how study effectively. You can even email teachers if you need help with anything!
Are there lots of homework and tests?
We use regular homework as a way of allowing students to check their progress. Most of the homework questions are past exam questions so this is all good preparation for the exams. Similarly, end of topic tests and practice assessments allow students and their teachers to see the progress they are making. We give excellent feedback so that students know they are supported and are making progress. We recommend students do at least five or six hours a week of the independent study for Chemistry. We will give you lots of brilliant advice, when you start, so that you are revising actively and effectively.
Do I need to study chemistry to do Medicine?
Many universities require you to have studied A level Chemistry. We would advise students to study chemistry. You will get more advice when you enrol at Loreto College.
What other subject to students normally choose alongside Chemistry?
Popular combinations include...Biology, Mathematics, Psychology, Physics, English, History, Business Studies and languages.