A highly enjoyable and academically stimulating course with embedded practical work to reflect the nature of contemporary chemistry.
WHAT WILL YOU STUDY?
The Chemistry A-Level course is designed to help your knowledge and understanding of aspects of chemistry that affect our lives. These include climate change, green chemistry, pharmaceuticals and chemistry research.
This course encourages you to zoom into the microscopic world of matter and enhance your understanding of chemical bonding. You’ll become more aware of the electronic structure of elements and how this affects their chemical properties.
The course gives you the opportunity to develop your mathematical and analytical skills through equation writing and calculating chemical quantities. It gives you an insight into how chemistry works on an industrial and research level as well as the economic, environmental and practical challenges that professional chemists and chemical engineers have to face when producing large-scale quantities of a desired product.
In Year 6 you will study: In Unit 1 ‘Structure, Bonding and Introduction to Organic Chemistry’ you will study atomic structure, chemical bonding as well as atoms, elements and molecules, learn how to calculate moles, reacting masses and the atome economy of chemical reactions. In this unit you will also be introduced to Organic Chemistry where you will investigate the chemical reactions and applications of alkanes and alkenes.
In Unit 2, ‘Energetics, Group Chemistry, Halogenoalkanes and Alcohols’, you will enhance your understanding of the chemistry of groups 1, 2 and 7 in the periodic table and apply ideas about redox reactions for reactions of halogens and their compounds. You will develop an understanding of how chemists control the rate and extend of a chemical reaction and explore different industrial applications. The organic chemistry in this unit studies the chemical reactions and uses of alcohols and halogenoalkanes.You will also learn how to measure and calculate the energy changes taking place in a chemical reaction.
Unit 3 ‘Practical Skills in Chemistry I’, is a practical written examination that covers the content of Units 1 and 2. In year 6 you will carry out qualitative, quantitative and preparative chemistry practicals alongside the content that will give you a hands-on training for the external Unit 3 examination at the end of year 6.
In Year 7 you will study: In Unit 4 ‘Rates, Equilibria and Further Organic chemistry’ you will study chemical kinetics and relate these to reaction mechanisms. You will then study Entropy and chemical equilibria and how chemists can use their understanding to predict the direction and extend of chemical change. The organic chemistry in this Unit investigates the reactions of aldehydes, ketones and carboxylic acids as well as their derivatives. Analytical techniques will be studied including mass spectroscopy, IR, NMR, TLC, HPLC and GC.
In Unit 5 ‘Transition Metals and Organic Nitrogen Chemistry’ you will extend your knowledge on the feasibility of redox reactions as well as investigate the properties and reactions of transition metals. In organic chemistry you will learn about benzene and its reactivity and explore other functional groups such as amines, amides and amino acids and their reactions such as polymerization. You will learn how to devise synthetic routes for manufacturing a chemical on a large scale and the economic and environmental considerations involved in the preparation.
Unit 6 ‘Practical Skills in Chemistry II’ is a practical written examination that covers the content of Units 4 and 5 covered in year 7. This involves qualitative, quantitative and preparative chemistry practicals that aim to prepare you for the external Unit 6 examination at the end of year 7.
ABOUT THE EXTERNAL EXAMINATION
At the end of year 6 you will sit a one and half hour paper on Unit 1 which will count for 40 % of your IAS (international AS) marks and another one and a half hour paper on Unit 2 which will also count for 40% of your IAS marks.Unit 3 is a one hour and fifteen minute paper which will count for 20% of your IAS marks.
At the end of year 7 you will sit a one hour and forty five minute paper on Unit 4 which will count for 40% of your IA2 (international A2) marks and another one hour and forty five minute paper on Unit 5 which will also count for 40% of your IA2 marks.
Unit 6 is a one hour and twenty minute paper which will count for 20% of your IA2 marks.
In addition, Unit 4, 5 papers will include some synoptic assessment which involves some questions that are based on the material covered in year 6 (IAS).
Altogether the IAS counts for 50% and the IA2 counts for the other 50% of your overall Chemistry A-Level grade.
WHAT CAN A-LEVEL CHEMISTRY OFFER ME?
This A-level will enhance your analytical, evaluative and synoptic skills. You will be given the opportunity to sharpen your mathematical and critical thinking skills including the ability to plan and manipulate information and data. Chemistry is a highly valued A- level required for a wide range of subjects at university. (It is the 2nd most requested A- level from universities after Mathematics). It will give one the opportunity to pursue any one of the following undergraduate courses at University: Chemistry, Medicine, Biomedical Science, Microbiology, Materials Science, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, Pharmacy / Pharmaceuticals, Forensic Science, Food technology or any other course studying materials, energy resources and the environment.
Assessment is varied to provide opportunity for students to maximize their performance and develop their practical and critical thinking skills:
- 3 or 2 tests per semester
- Chemistry practicals embedded in the content and homework activities including thorough past-paper practice.
MAIN DIFFERENCE TO THE GCSE
Chemistry GCSE in triple or double science offers a more content-style approach to the subject of chemistry and practical work is usually group-based. The A-Level allows students to learn about chemistry through context and makes the necessary link to how chemistry is applied in our everyday lives. It allows for students to gain confidence in working independently and to develop their own practical and critical thinking skills.
- How to design, perform, analyse and interpret experiments to investigate aspects of science
- How to do individual research
- How to critically evaluate experiments and scientific ideas
Students with A-Level Chemistry may choose to follow further studies abroad or in Cyprus in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedica Sciences, Medicine, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering, Dentistry, Earth Sciences, Environmental Science etc.