A Level Chemistry | NSCG - Newcastle & Stafford Colleges Group
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Course overview

Chemistry is everywhere and everything. The subject investigates the nature of the materials that surround us, and the interplay of different forms of energy with those materials. In our homes, workplaces, hospitals and leisure facilities we continually encounter products which do not occur naturally but are made by chemists: plastics, dyes, medicines, safe supplies of water, food, clothes made of textiles created from oil, to name a few. However, chemistry is not just used to understand man-made stuff it is essential to understand the behaviour of biological molecules and essential for our understanding of climate change and the development of new technologies.

A Level Chemistry aims to develop your awareness and knowledge of these processes and products, and your practical scientific skills, at a level suitable for progression to Higher Education or to vocational work such as apprenticeships.

The course consists of a broader selection of fundamental Chemistry concepts which build on ideas learned at GCSE.

You will learn through a varied programme of laboratory and practical work, lectures, discussions and team activities. The College has excellent facilities for chemistry students, with access to a dedicated chemistry laboratory. A wide range of equipment is available including computerised data logging. During the first two weeks of the course you will work through an induction period which will culminate in an Initial Assessment that will be used to assess your suitability for the remainder of the course.

What else do I need to know?

You will be expected to study independently and you will have access to the materials in the Learning Resources Centre as well as a comprehensive question bank and other support materials which are available on the College Intranet or via MS Teams. You can expect to complete one homework per week and you will receive feedback on your performance within a week of the deadline date.

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What are the entry requirements?

You will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 5 or above including maths and English Language, in subjects relevant to your A Level or A+ Programme subject choices.

You should also have a GCSE grade 6 or above in Chemistry or grade 6-6 in Combined Science and grade 6 in Maths. An average GCSE point score of 6.0 is also needed.

How is it assessed?

Assessment is comprised of three examinations at the end of two years of study.

Paper 1 Content:
Module 1 - Development of practical skills in chemistry • Practical skills assessed in a written examination • Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement
Module 2 - Foundations in chemistry • Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations • Amount of substance • Acid–base and redox reactions • Electrons, bonding and structure
Module 3 - Periodic table and energy • The periodic table and periodicity • Group 2 and the halogens • Qualitative analysis • Enthalpy changes • Reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative)
Module 5 - Physical chemistry and transition elements • Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative) • pH and buffers • Enthalpy, entropy and free energy • Redox and electrode potentials • Transition elements

Paper 2 Content:
Module 1 - Development of practical skills in chemistry • Practical skills assessed in a written examination • Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement
Module 2 - Foundations in chemistry • Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations • Amount of substance • Acid–base and redox reactions • Electrons, bonding and structure
Module 4 - Core organic chemistry • Basic concepts • Hydrocarbons • Alcohols and haloalkanes • Organic synthesis • Analytical techniques (IR and MS)
Module 6 - Organic chemistry and analysis • Aromatic compounds • Carbonyl compounds • Carboxylic acids and esters • Nitrogen compounds • Polymers • Organic synthesis • Chromatography and spectroscopy (NMR)

Paper 3 Content: all of the above modules

Throughout the course you will carry out a range of practicals to support your learning, these will also provide evidence for the Practical Endorsement

What financial support is on offer?

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. If you are outside this age group please contact 01782 254188.
College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £23,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit www.nscg.ac.uk/finance

What can I do next?

A Level Chemistry is accepted as an entry qualification for Higher Education and is an excellent basis for careers in science, medicine, veterinary science, pharmacy, chemical engineering and finance. On a personal level, chemistry allows you to begin to understand how all the substances surrounding us were formed and why they possess their individual properties.

How do I find out more?

If you wish to find out more you can contact Jo Cook, Subject Leader, by emailing: joanna.cook@nscg.ac.uk

Science & Maths

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