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Course overview

Chemistry 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 progress 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 (i-site). You can expect to complete one homework per week and you will receive feedback on your performance within a week of the deadline date.

What are the entry requirements?

You will need a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades 9-4 to include 3 or more at grade 5 and above. GCSE’s should include Maths and English Language at a minimum of grade 4.

In addition, to study Chemistry at this level it is essential that you have at least grade 6 in GCSE Chemistry or 6-6 in GCSE Combined Science and a minimum of grade 5 in Maths with an average point score of 6. BTEC Science cannot be used to gain entry onto the A Level Chemistry programme.

How is it assessed?

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

Paper 1 - Content
3.1.1 Atomic structure
3.1.2 Amount of substance
3.1.3 Bonding
3.1.4 Energetics
3.1.6 Chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier's principle
3.1.7 Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
3.1.8 Thermodynamics
3.1.10 Equilibrium constant Kc for homogeneous systems
3.1.11 Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells
3.1.12 Acids and bases

Paper 2 - Content
3.1.2 Amount of substance
3.1.3 Bonding
3.1.4 Energetics
3.1.5 Kinetics
3.1.6 Chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier's principle
3.1.9 Rate equations
3.3.1 Introduction to organic chemistry
3.3.2 Alkanes
3.3.3 Halogenoalkanes
3.3.4 Alkenes
3.3.5 Alcohols
3.3.6 Organic analysis
3.3.7 Optical isomerism
3.3.8 Aldehydes and ketones
3.3.9 Carboxylic acids and derivatives
3.3.10 Aromatic chemistry
3.3.11 Amines
3.3.12 Polymers
3.3.13 Amino acids, proteins and DNA
3.3.14 Organic synthesis
3.3.15 Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
3.3.16 Chromatography

Paper 3 - Content
Any content
Any practical skills

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 £21,000 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?

Contact subject lecturer Fran Eardley at:
fran.eardley@nscg.ac.uk

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