Chemistry AS/A Level

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Chemistry AS/A Level

St brendan's sixth form college
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Description

Curriculum Area: Science

Chemistry AS/A Level

Who is the course for?

Chemistry is considered to be one of the most difficult A level subjects, however if a student is hard-working and self-motivated, it will prove to be a stimulating and very rewarding course. Some students choose to study Chemistry because they are interested in a chemistry-related career or it is a pre-requisite for other careers e.g. medicine, veterinary science, dentistry and pharmacy. Some choose it because it a valuable support subject for A Level Biology and can provide support for aspects of A level Physics and Environmental Studies. Others simply choose it because they enjoy practical work, problem-solving and maki…

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Curriculum Area: Science

Chemistry AS/A Level

Who is the course for?

Chemistry is considered to be one of the most difficult A level subjects, however if a student is hard-working and self-motivated, it will prove to be a stimulating and very rewarding course. Some students choose to study Chemistry because they are interested in a chemistry-related career or it is a pre-requisite for other careers e.g. medicine, veterinary science, dentistry and pharmacy. Some choose it because it a valuable support subject for A Level Biology and can provide support for aspects of A level Physics and Environmental Studies. Others simply choose it because they enjoy practical work, problem-solving and making sense of the material world around them, and want to learn more.

Units of study

Advanced Subsidiary

The Advanced Subsidiary [AS] course is studied by all students in the first year. The course is divided into three separate modules. They are:

Unit 1 Foundation chemistry: 1hr 15 mins – written paper (33.3% )
  • Atomic structure
  • Amount of substance (moles)
  • Bonding
  • Periodicity
  • Introduction to organic chemistry
  • Alkanes
Unit 2 Chemistry in action: 1hr 45 mins – written paper (46.6%)
  • Energetics
  • Kinetics
  • Equilibria
  • Redox reactions
  • Group 7, the halogens
  • Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
  • The extraction of metals
  • Haloalkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Alcohols
  • Analytical techniques
Unit 3 Investigative and practical skills in AS Chemistry (20%)

Advanced Level (A2)

Students can choose to proceed to the full Advanced Level (A2) in the second year. This course is a natural progression from AS. It further develops the principles studied at AS whilst incorporating new ideas.

Unit 4 Kinetics, equilibria and organic chemistry Unit 5 Energetics, redox and inorganic chemistry Unit 6 Investigative and practical skills in A2 Chemistry

Methods of Teaching and Learning

The course is tutored by well-qualified Chemistry specialists who aim to stimulate interest in and enjoyment of chemistry and to foster imaginative, logical and critical thinking. The course integrates theory and experimental work, developing investigative and manipulative skills. Students are encouraged to develop their scientific communication skills through research, discussion and written work.

Enrichment

Students are encouraged to take part in both the ’Access to Bristol’ course and the Nuffield Crest programme, visit medical and veterinary schools on courses such as Medisix and Vetsix and to enter the international RSC Chemistry Olympiad. A visit is also organised to the University of Bristol Department of Chemistry for talks and demonstrations.

Methods of Assessment

Units are assessed by written examination. In addition both the AS and A2 courses have an investigative skills assignment (ISA) which will be internally assessed. Students have the opportunity to retake some modules if they are unhappy with their initial grade.

Resources

Chemistry has access to modern, well-equipped laboratories. Students are able to use extensive, open access, computer suites. The College Library and Information Centre is well stocked with books and journals, and has Internet facilities.

Progression

Advanced Level Chemistry provides a sound basis for students who wish to proceed to Higher Education. A wide range of careers opportunities are open to them, such as – Analytical Chemistry, Archaeology, Art Restoration, Biochemistry, Conservation, Dentistry, Dietetics, Education, Engineering, Food Technology, Forensic Science, Forestry, Geology, Horticulture, Information Technology, Science Journalism, Material Science, Medicine, Museums, Nursing, Oceanography, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Radiography, Social Work, Sports and Fitness, Veterinary Science.

Entry Requirements

GCSE Chemistry at grade B or above, or GCSE Core and Additional Science at grade BB or above, plus GCSE Mathematics at grade B or above. The GCSE Applied Science is not an acceptable entry qualification for this course. Students who are not studying AS Mathematics are recommended to take AS Use of Mathematics in order to develop further the mathematical skills required for the Chemistry course.

Additional Costs

Enrichment trips organised by the college will incur nominal costs to cover transport and teaching.

What Students Say

‘The practical work is very enjoyable and highly challenging. It’s fun when you get the results you expect to get.’

‘I particularly liked the fact that support is available for you when it is needed’.

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