Examination Board:  OCR

Head of Department: Mr Andrew Niven

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Why Study Chemistry?

Chemistry at A level is a prerequisite for many courses in higher education and for many areas of employment. The primary reason for choosing to study Chemistry would be because you enjoyed studying the subject at GCSE level. It is a long-established and well-respected qualification that can allow progression into a number of career areas including the chemical, chemical engineering, materials science and biotechnology industries. In addition, Chemistry is essential for careers in medicine, pharmacology and environmental science. Chemistry is also a well-respected subject in its own right and suitable for entry into a wide range of other professions. The unique skills which are learned in a science discipline are transferable to many different careers and would most certainly improve your employment prospects.


Course Details – Exam Board: OCR

This is a linear two year Chemistry course leading to A level. The specification is divided into topics, each covering different key concepts of Chemistry. Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and they are assessed through the written papers: there is no separate practical exam. Year 12 starts with foundation topics: atomic structure & bonding; shapes of molecules, intermolecular forces, the mole concept; and the periodic table. Then the course continues to explore other areas of Chemistry such as physical Chemistry (equilibria, energetics and reaction kinetics) and organic Chemistry (alkanes, alkenes, mechanisms, isomerism, alcohols, haloalkanes and instrumental techniques: infra-red spectroscopy & mass spectrometry). In Year 13 you will continue to study two further modules: Physical Chemistry & Transition Elements (concepts include: enthalpy, entropy, free energy, electrode potentials, pH and buffers) and Organic Chemistry & Analysis (topics include: arenes, carbonyl compounds, carboxylic acids, amines, polymers, nuclear magnetic resonance and gas chromatography). Practical work is integrated into the lessons and is teacher assessed. You will be expected to complete a minimum of 12 practical activities to demonstrate practical competence. The practical endorsement is reported separately to the A level grade.



Entry Requirements

Students are required to achieve at least a Grade B at GCSE level Chemistry or a BB Grade in GCSE Core and Additional Science.


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