Chemistry is a fascinating subject that greatly impacts almost every aspect of modern society and continues to revolutionise the way we live.

Advances in Science and Technology are revolutionising the world in which we live and influence almost every aspect of our lives. With the pace of discovery and development ever increasing, the range of career opportunities for people with the skills that Science qualifications provide are unimaginably diverse and you will always be in demand. Studying Science in our state-of-the-art labs and project spaces will enable you to develop the necessary technical ability and knowledge to play your part. Whatever your talent, at QMC you will find customised support to meet your aspirations and successfully pursue your particular interests and goals.


Course Summary

Chemistry is a fascinating subject that greatly impacts almost every aspect of modern society and continues to revolutionise the way we live. Starting with the idea of sub-atomic particles, Chemistry develops an understanding of how things around us – and inside us – work at a molecular level. This allows the design and production of medicines, fuels, sophisticated materials, and cosmetics. It also allows us to understand how processes in the atmosphere, oceans, soil, and our own bodies function. Modern chemists take a leading role in providing the solutions for tomorrow’s needs, whether in terms of energy demands, food production, environmental protection, or just a really beautiful new shade of green for dying fabric!

Specific Entry Requirements

To ensure you have the best possible chance of success in Chemistry, you are required to have obtained at least double grade 6 in GCSE Science, a grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics and 5 or better in GCSE English. If you have studied the three sciences separately you will need at least a grade 6 in Chemistry and one of the other sciences.

Progression Skills and Opportunities

Chemists develop a deep understanding of scientific principles, combined with the ability to solve ‘real world’ problems, and the practical laboratory skills required for analysis, synthesis and research. Drawing conclusions from observations, using general principles to make predictions about specific contexts, interpreting data, explaining interesting phenomena, and calculating quantities of materials involved in chemical reaction will all form an important part of your growing skills. Chemists develop strong logical, numerical, problem solving skills that will make you an attractive prospect for many different employers from a variety of different industries. The range of careers specifically based around Chemistry are too numerous to list, but a Chemistry degree is also a very effective route into surprising careers such as law, accountancy, banking and management.

How is the course assessed?

The linear A Level Chemistry course will be assessed by your performance in three exams at the end of the second year. These exams are synoptic and between them, will cover all the elements from the entire two years of study. Papers one and two are both 2 hours 15 minutes long and contribute 41% & 37% respectively to your final A level grade. The third paper is 1 hour 30 minutes long and will test your understanding of practical skills; this will contribute the final 22%. There is no longer any coursework that contributes to your final A Level grade; the final grade will purely depend upon your examination performance. Practical work will still form an integral part of the course, but a separate ‘practical endorsement’ will provide evidence of your successful development of laboratory skills. PASS or FAIL will be added to your final certificate.

What topics will I be studying?

  • Elements of life – The elements and compounds in the body, the earth and the universe.
  • Developing fuels – What they consist of, how the energy is measured and the development of better fuels.
  • Elements from the sea – The extraction, properties and uses of halogens and their compounds.
  • The ozone story – Important processes occurring in the ozone layer of the atmosphere.
  • What’s in a medicine? – The study of medicines, using functional group chemistry and methods of analysis.
  • The chemical industry – How chemists use industrial processes to benefit mankind.
  • Polymers and life – Condensation polymers, proteins and enzymes. DNA and synthesising proteins.
  • Oceans – The role of the oceans in dissolving substances and maintaining pH.
  • Developing metals – The reactions and properties of the transition metals.
  • Colour by design – Dyes and the use of chemistry to provide colour to order.

Will I need specialist materials or equipment?

You will need a number of course booklets, revision guides and practical equipment but everything you require will be provided as you contribute towards these as part of your course costs. Your teacher may recommend other books for study and revision but it is up to you whether you buy these or access them in the College Library.

Maddie Reynolds

The Chemistry Department at QMC supply excellent handwritten knowledge packs and corresponding training books with past paper questions. Each training book contains 30-40 pages of past paper questions specifically for the topic being taught, meaning you can go into the exams feeling confident. – Sherfield School

Any Questions?

The Head of Department, Nick Everett

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