Chemistry is the central Science and leads to careers in Biological, Physical or Medical
Sciences. It is highly rated by universities as an entrance qualification, being essential for
the study of Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Chemical Engineering, Food Science,
Pharmacy, and many more. It is also desirable for many unscientific courses, such as Law.
The Sixth Form course is interesting, challenging and requires a high degree of
commitment. Practical work is used to amplify topics covered in theory lessons and is an
internally assessed part of the course.
The AQA AS and A2 Levels are designed to teach students about general concepts in
Chemistry and to enable them to apply their knowledge and skills to unfamiliar situations. It
also hopes to sustain and develop their enjoyment and interest in Chemistry. It provides a
logical sequence of topics progressing from GCSE through AS to A2 Level and builds on
the understanding and skills developed at GCSE level. Students who have studied the
three separate sciences will find they are more familiar with some sections of AS Chemistry.
Students who have studied the two combined Science GCSEs should have no problem with
the course, but it is recommended that candidates from the dual Science background
should have achieved grade A in both Science GCSEs.
The Year 12 course contains most of the less difficult work divided into three compulsory
Unit 1 - Foundation Chemistry – this covers atomic structure, bonding, reacting
amounts, periodicity and an introduction to organic chemistry. Assessment is by a 1 ½
hour written examination.
Unit 2 – Chemistry In Action – this covers more organic, energetics, kinetics, equilibria,
redox reactions, halogens, the alkaline earth metals and metal extraction (including
environmental aspects). Assessment is by a 1 ¾ hour written examination.
Unit 3 – Investigative and Practical Skills – This is a series of internally assessed
practical assignments similar to the PSA and ISA students have experienced at GCSE.
The second year of the course develops kinetics, equilibria and organic chemistry in Unit 4
and energetics, redox and inorganic chemistry in Unit 5, taking them to a considerably
higher level and including more of the Mathematical aspects of Chemistry. Units 4 and 5
are assessed by 1¾ hour written examinations which include synoptic questions. This year
also includes further investigative and practical skills assessments.