The course is divided into a variety of chemical topics, each containing different key concepts in chemistry. Once you have learnt the key features of a particular topic, you go on to consider the applications it has to everyday life. As part of the A level programme students will be encouraged to complete a week of work experience. The science department has links with Aston University and Coventry University. We support students applying for Masterclasses at universities, placements and programmes to help students to progress to a University. Previous science students have progressed onto programmes such as Nuffield Science placement and the University of Birmingham Routes to Progressions scheme. In addition to quiet study areas and online learning, we offer A level exclusive quiet study rooms in addition to the learning zone quiet area. We have access to e-journals, e-books and books. The college also holds activities for British Science Week ‘Meet the Scientist’ event. We also hold A level revision workshops and conferences as part of developing study skills. There will be two papers at the end of the first year and three papers at the end of the years assessing the last two years content.
The study of Chemistry requires the construction of sound foundations through the study of several fundamental concepts in the first year and the early part of the second year. In the remainder of the course these concepts must coalesce into a coherent whole before moving onto more difficult ideas and their application in the wider world. Chemistry complements other STEM subjects such as Biology, Physics, Psychology, Geography, Electronics and maths.
Last year we had a 100% pass rate for this course.
You will also be expected to complete a work placement as part of your programme of study. Study skills and employability skills will be developed with the help of your personal tutor.
OCR Chemistry A syllabus is followed YEAR 1: Atoms, compounds and molecules; acid-base and redox reactions; periodic table and periodicity; Enthalpy changes and reaction rates; Core organic chemistry and analytical techniques. YEAR 2: Further organic chemistry and analysis; pH and buffers; transition metals, redox and electrode potentials; Entropy and free energy. Mathematical Skills in Chemistry 20% of the assessment on A level Chemistry contains mathematical skills. Practical endorsement 15% of assessment on A level Chemistry will be based on knowledge, skills and understanding on practical skills. You will carry out at least 12 practicals over the two years. Tutors will observe and assess students’ competencies in practical work to achieve a practical endorsement.
Year 1 of A level Chemistry requires 5 GCSEs at grades A**-C with 6 (B) in two from triple or double Science of which one should be for Chemistry. Minimum C (5) in English and B (6) in maths is required. Your overall GCSE score will be considered. Successful enrolment is subject to a satisfactory induction period. If you enjoy science but prefer coursework assessment you may wish to consider an alternative yet equivalent course such as the BTEC level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science which is a mixture of coursework and internal exams.
There are many opportunities open to you if you have an A level in Chemistry, such as teaching; scientific research; working in industry; medicine, pharmacy; pharmacology; biomedical sciences and chemical engineering. For all of these, you need to take another relevant higher level qualification such as a degree, HND or foundation degree, depending on the career’s entry requirements. Of course, higher education is not for everyone, so if you don’t progress to higher education you will find employers will favour the many transferable skills you will have acquired during your study of A level Chemistry.