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Est. 1921


Course Details

Exam Board and specification code:

AQA 7405

Course Co-ordinator:

Dr Ellson

Video Introduction:

What is this course about?

You are the stuff that stars are made of. Chemistry is the study of all chemical substances and how to change one chemical into another. The food you eat, the air you breathe, your own body, your mobile phone, the plants and streets around you are made of chemicals. As you want inexpensive products, chemistry helps to decrease economic costs, and as you want a safe environment, chemistry helps to decrease pollution by detecting the toxins, and by destroying them. Gone are the days that poisonous red lead oxide is used to colour cheese, or to sweeten cider; and now we do not put toxic arsenic in cosmetics; nor do we use lead in white paint, or make CFCs that destroy the ozone layer. These chemicals were used mostly out of ignorance, so with the development of new understanding in chemistry, a safer world is built.

At A-Level, you will be encouraged to think and to develop your understanding through questioning and reading. Homework is an integral part of the course and allows students to test their understanding of the material covered in class. Reading around the subject is also of great benefit to developing a better comprehension of the ideas taught. On most weeks there will be a practical session aimed at supporting the theory covered and at developing the experimental skills needed at this level. There is not a detailed report required but the results are processed into graphs and calculations. You do not need to study A-Level Maths but a good grade at GCSE will help.

Course Content

Year 12:

Atomic Structure, Amount of Substance, Bonding, Energetics, Kinetics, Equilibria, Redox, Periodicity, Alkaline Earths, Halogens, Organic Mechanisms, Alkanes, Alkenes, Halogenoalkanes, Alcohols, Organic Analysis.

Year 13:

Thermodynamics, Rate Equations, Equilibrium Constants, Electrode Potentials, Electrochemical Cells, Acids and Bases, Period 3 Compounds, Transition Metals, Metal Complexes, Optical Isomerism, Aldehydes & Ketones, Carboxylic Acids, Benzene, Amines, Polymers, Amino Acids Proteins and DNA, Organic Synthesis,
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.

Paper 1:  Written Exam 2hrs. 35% of A level. 105 marks, short / long answer questions
(Inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry).

Paper 2:  Written Exam 2hrs. 35% of A level. 105 marks, short / long answer questions. (Organic chemistry, physical chemistry).

Paper 3: Written Exam. 2hrs. 30% of A level. 60 marks on short / long answer question, 30 marks multiple choice. (Practical skills, data analysis, all subject content).

A-level grades will be based only on marks from written exams. 

A separate assessment of practical skills will be based on a 12 required practicals during the course.

What might this course lead on to?

Chemistry is a preferred subject for careers such as materials science, medicine, biosciences and chemical engineering but also finance, law, architecture and journalism. It is a highly regarded A Level and a welcome qualification for non-science degree courses.

Entry Requirements:

Grade 6 in GCSE Chemistry or 6/6 in GCSE Trilogy or Synergy Science.