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Chemistry A-Level

Exam board: OCR Chemistry A.

Curriculum Content in each year (by component):

Module 1: Development of practical skills in chemistry

  • Practical skills assessed in a written examination.
  • Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement.

Module 2: Foundations in chemistry

  • Atoms
  • compounds
  • molecules and equations
  • Amount of substance
  • Acid–base and redox reactions
  • Electrons
  • bonding and structure

Module 3: Periodic table and energy

  • The periodic table and periodicity
  • Group 2 and the halogens
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Enthalpy changes
  • Reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative)

Module 4: Core organic chemistry

  • Basic concepts
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Alcohols and halo-alkanes
  • Organic synthesis
  • Analytical techniques (IR and MS)

Module 5: Physical chemistry and transition elements

  • Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative)
  • pH and buffers
  • Enthalpy
  • entropy and free energy
  • Redox and electrode potentials
  • Transition elements

Module 6: Organic chemistry and analysis

  • Aromatic compounds
  • Carbonyl compounds
  • Carboxylic acids and esters
  • Nitrogen compounds
  • Polymers
  • Organic synthesis
  • Chromatography and spectroscopy (NMR)

How it will be taught: Chemistry is 100% externally assessed and there is no coursework or controlled assessments. However, you will be required to develop a range of practical skills throughout their course in preparation for the written examinations.

Assessment: There are 3 exams totalling 6 hours of exam assessment. Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry (2 hours 15 minutes) assesses content from Modules 1,2,3 and 5. Synthesis and analytical techniques (2 hours 15 minutes) assesses content from 1,2,4 and 6, and unified chemistry (1 hour 30 minutes) assesses content from all modules 1-6. Within A-Level Chemistry, 20% of the marks available within written examinations will be for assessment of mathematics.

Specific entry requirements: Minimum of grade 6 in Chemistry or a grade 7 in combined science. Future opportunities: Students studying A-Level Chemistry can be awarded a Practical Endorsement in Chemistry. This non-exam assessment component rewards the development of practical competency for chemistry and is teacher assessed. Chemistry ‘A’ level can get you in to a variety of degree courses from marine chemistry to chemical engineering, food chemistry to neurochemistry, environmental chemistry to biological chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences and beyond. It is an essential requirement for entry to a degree in Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science. Careers range from the more traditional laboratory-based work through to photography, art restoration and music technology.

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