Chemistry AS and A Level

Chemistry in the 6th Form is one of the most challenging but rewarding courses on offer. In Year 12, students work towards the AS Level AQA qualification.

At the end of Year 12 all students achieving a grade are invited onto the A Level course. The course content breakdown is very similar to that of Year 12, students are expected to complete a synoptic papers based on knowledge accrued throughout the two-year course.

Employers and universities recognise the skills of a Chemistry student and look favourably upon the possession of a Key Stage 5 qualification in this subject.

In order to take this course there is an entry requirement of Grade B in at least two Science GCSEs.

How will I be assessed?

At AS level, there are two written papers, Paper 1 and 2, covering AS course content as well as practical techniques.
At A level, there are three written papers, Paper 1, 2 and 3, that are taken at the end of the two year course.

What will I study?

AS Units

A Level Units

  • Physical Chemistry including Atomic
  • Structure, bonding & energetics
  • Inorganic Chemistry including study of Group 1
    and 2 elements; periodicity
  • Organic chemistry including alkanes, alkenes and alcohols
  • Relevant practical skills
  • Additional units from organic, inorganic and physical chemistry
  • For example, optical isomerism, aldehydes, ketones and aromatic chemistry

Assessment

AS Level Chemistry

Two exams taken will be taken at the end of Year 12, Paper 1 & 2.  Both will assess content from the AS units studied in Year 12.
Each Paper is 1.5 hours long, each 50% of the AS level.   There will also be questions linked to relevant practical skills developed during the year.

A Level

Three exams will be taken, Paper 1, 2 and 3, at the end of the two year course.

Exam

Course Content Examined

Details of Exam

Paper 1

Assesses relevant physical chemistry topics, inorganic chemistry and practical skills

2 hour exam (35% of final mark)

Paper 2

Assesses relevant physical chemistry topics, organic chemistry and practical skills

2 hour exam (35% of final mark)

Paper 3

Assesses content of the all topics from across the specification, data analysis & any relevant practical skills.

2 hour exam (30% of the final mark)

 

What you will study

A Level Chemistry 2421

Unit 4
Kinetics, Equilibria and Organic Chemistry
Studied July to End of December

  1. Kinetics
  2. Equilibria
  3. Acids, Bases, Buffers
  4. Nomenclature and isomerism in organic chemistry
  5. Compounds containing the carbonyl group
  6. Aromatic Chemistry
  7. Amines
  8. Amino Acids
  9. Polymerisation
  10. Organic Synthesis and Analysis
  11. Structure Determination

Unit 5 Energetics, Redox and Inorganic Chemistry
Studied January to June

  1. Thermodynamics
  2. Periodicity
  3. Redox Equilibria
  4. The Transition Metals
  5. Reactions of inorganic compounds in aqueous solution

Unit 6 Investigative Skills Assessment
ISA 1 Completed in March
ISA 2 or EMPA Completed in April

An assessed practical followed by 45 minute written exam paper. Two ISA’s or an EMPA are completed each year the highest score being submitted to the exam board.

 

AS Chemistry 1421

Unit 1 Foundation Chemistry
Studied September to End of December

  1. Atomic Structure
  2. Amount of substance
  3. Bonding
  4. Periodicity
  5. Introduction to organic chemistry
  6. Alkanes

Unit 2 Chemistry in Action
Studied January to June

  1. Energetics
  2. Kinetics
  3. Equilibria
  4. Redox Reactions
  5. Group 7, The Halogens
  6. Group 2, The alkaline earth metals
  7. The extraction of metals
  8. Haloalkanes
  9. Alkenes
  10. Alcohols
  11. Analytical Techniques

Unit 3 Investigative Skills Assessment
ISA 1 Completed in March
ISA 2 or EMPA Completed in April

An assessed practical followed by 45 minute written exam paper. Two ISA’s or an EMPA are completed each year the highest score being submitted to the exam board.

 

What skills will I gain from this course?

  • Calculating and applying formulae to numerical data
  • Gathering and analysing data
  • Evaluative skills
  • Practical skills
  • Team building skills

Specimen papers and course information available

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level-7404-7405

Entry Requirements

B+ Grades in Chemistry plus another science (or in core and additional science)