Chemistry A Level
Chemistry is the key to essential leading research designed to solve issues facing our world today. It is a fascinating subject which teaches you to develop a wide range of skills, think logically, solve problems and work in an organised manner. Chemistry links particularly well with one or more A Levels out of Biology, Maths or Physics, and many students further combine it with subjects such as Geography, English or Psychology, depending on their interests. Chemists are involved in activities such as developing sustainable biofuel technologies and improving medicines to treat serious illnesses like cancer.
Students will be expected to have at least two GCSEs at grade 6, English Language at grade 5 and the remainder no less than grade 4. If you have studied Double Award or Combined Science, you will be expected to have a double grade 6 in Science and grade 6 in Mathematics (higher grade tier). If you have studied separate sciences, you will be expected to have GCSE grade 6 in Chemistry, grade 6 from Biology or Physics and grade 6 in Mathematics. You are advised to combine Chemistry with Biology if pursuing a career in medicine or biomedical sciences.
This is a linear course with external exams at the end of the two years. These will assess your knowledge of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. You will build up a portfolio of experimental work to demonstrate the development of your practical skills and you will receive a separate qualification that will sit alongside your A level qualification. You begin by looking at the structure of atoms in detail and how they bond together. A firm foundation will be laid in analysis of amount of substance by means of practical work linked to theory and calculation.
In inorganic chemistry, you look at the periodic table, studying groups two and seven and colourful transition metal chemistry in detail. In organic chemistry, you study the chemistry of carbon compounds and how to identify molecules by instrumentation. In physical chemistry, you study thermodynamics, rates of reaction and reversible reactions. All these topics require good mathematical skills, which, along with problem solving skills, are developed on this course.
This Chemistry A Level is a linear course, with all external exams at the end of the two years.
Enrichment and Work Experience
There is an opportunity to complete a one-week work placement in the summer term. Students of Chemistry have enjoyed various enrichment activities, including a visiting speaker from Medical projects. Chemistry students have also taken part in an industrial visit and a number of debates on current issues.
Students will bring basic stationary and a calculator to lessons, be punctual, engaged and ready to learn. We also expect you to commit to at least 4 or 5 hours per week outside of lesson to be spent on independent learning which may include, homework, reading, research and revision for this subject.
Future Career Opportunities
Chemistry is an essential subject for Medicine, Veterinary medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy. It is desirable for most scientific and technological careers ranging from the biosciences, to material and geological sciences. You may be interested in future careers where you develop new medicines, protect the environment or invent new products. Some students use the numerical and analytical skills they have developed whilst studying chemistry to follow careers in accountancy or management consultancy. You’ll also find that Chemistry can open up opportunities you didn’t know existed!
Why Study at BSFC?
The College has attractive, well equipped teaching laboratories in which you will have every opportunity to link theory with practice and develop confident practical skills. You can also join small tutorial groups in addition to your classes which are tailored to your needs and you can receive help with any topic that is proving difficult.