Why study this course?
Chemistry sometimes is called the “central science” because it connects other sciences to each others, such as biology, physics, geology and environmental science. It’s a great stepping stone to pure science university degrees and essential for other courses like medicine and dentistry.
As well as practical knowledge of the subject, chemistry students develop many other skills prized by employers such as problem solving, numeracy, communication, creativity and data analysis. Gaining these skills means that you can have a future in all sorts of careers from finance to public relations.
What will I study?
AS is split into 4 teaching modules:
- Module 1 – Development of practical skills
- Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry
- Module 3 – Periodic table and energy
- Module 4 – Core organic chemistry
At A2 students are taught an additional 2 modules:
- Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements
- Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis.
Students are also given the opportunity to attend workshops at The University of Sheffield on spectroscopic techniques and organic synthesis.
How will I be assessed?
At the end of year 1 modules 1-4 are examined through 2 papers, Breadth in chemistry and Depth in chemistry. Both are equally weighted at 70 marks and students are given 1 hr 30 mins for each. These examinations do not count towards the final A2 grade but can be taken as an AS level if the student does not wish to continue to year 2.
At the end of Year 2 all 6 modules are examined through 3 papers. Paper 1 Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry and Paper 2 Synthesis and analytical techniques are both 100 marks and worth 37%. Paper 3, Unified chemistry is worth 70 marks and only 26% of the A2 grade. In addition to this, students will receive the Practical Endorsement for experimental skills which they gather throughout compulsory practicals during the 2 years.
Where can it lead?
Anywhere! Not all Chemists wear white coats.
Chemistry can lead you to a career based in science for example:
- Analytical chemist
- Chemical engineer
- Healthcare scientist,
- clinical biochemistry
- Forensic scientist
- Research scientist (physical sciences)
It could also lead you in a totally different direction for example a career as:
- An accountant
- Environmental consultant
- Science writer
- Secondary school teacher
- A public sector worker
- A doctor, nurse, midwife or other healthcare professional
The list is endless!