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Course Guide

Chemistry

(AQA 7405)

Chemistry is essential to understanding the world around us.  The chemistry specification is a stepping-stone to future study and is fundamentally a practical subject.

What will you study?

The specification has separated the areas into physical, inorganic and organic chemistry to help students clearly identify which branch of chemistry they are studying and help with the progression through from GCSE to A level. This is particularly useful for students wanting to study chemistry at University and take up research opportunities in their chosen specialised field.

Physical chemistry builds on many topics from GCSE, such as atomic structure, bonding and rates then develops these into quantitative topics.

Inorganic chemistry builds upon group 1 and 7 looked at in GCSE and brings in new concepts looking at trends and patterns in the periodic table.

Organic chemistry opens up the massive area of chemistry linking simple molecules to molecules in the body, how and why they react as they do.

How is it assessed?

A Level Chemistry is assessed at the end of the two years of study. There are 3 papers with Paper 1 looking at Physical and Inorganic Chemistry, Paper 2 covering Physical and Organic Chemistry, Paper 3 covering the 12 core practicals and is synoptic over the whole course with multiple choice questions.

There is also a separate practical endorsement, involving different practical skills and is used to demonstrate practical competence.

Enrichment opportunities?

During the two years there are many ways that chemistry aims to help students gain an understanding of science in the real world and help make decisions about career choices. Some examples are guest speakers speaking in our lecture period, taking part in Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (with the RSC) and visits to external lectures.

Where might it lead you?

Chemistry is a good basis for many careers in a wide and surprising range of sectors including medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, pharmacy, biomedical sciences, agriculture, petrochemicals, aerospace engineering, biotechnology, accountancy and law. The A level is also highly regarded by all university courses as a challenging option requiring lots of skills.

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