Chemistry

Course specification: OCR: AS Level H032, A Level H432

Content of AS Level

Module 1 Development of practical skills in Chemistry

  • Skills of planning, implementing, analysis and evaluation

Module 2 Foundations in Chemistry

  • Atomic structure
  • Quantitative chemistry: formulae, equations, amount of substance and the mole
  • Reactions of acids
  • Oxidation number and redox reactions
  • 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 haloalkanes
  • Organic synthesis
  • Analytical techniques (IR and MS)

Assessment

Breadth in Chemistry (01) assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 4 (1 hour 30 minutes written paper accounting for 50% of the final grade). Depth in Chemistry (02) assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 4 (1 hour 30 minutes written paper accounting for 50% of the final grade).

Content of A Level

Modules 1 to 4 as described in the AS Level content.

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)

Assessment

Periodic table, elements and physical Chemistry (01) assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5 (2 hours 15 minutes written paper accounting for 37% of the final grade).

Synthesis and analytical techniques (02) assesses content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6 (2 hours 15 minutes written paper accounting for 37% of the final grade).

Unified Chemistry (03) assesses content from modules 1-6 (1 hour 30 minutes written paper accounting for 26% of the final grade).

Practical endorsement in Chemistry (04) non exam assessment – requires completion of 12 practicals.

Key skills

  • An aptitude for practical work
  • An inquisitive and investigative mind
  • Analytical and evaluative skills
  • An aptitude for problem solving
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • The ability to think and reason abstractly

Enrichment opportunities

  • The Cambridge Science Festival
  • Lectures at the University of Cambridge
  • Society for Chemical Industry (SCI)
  • Talks at the University of Cambridge Chemistry Department
  • Chemistry Olympiad and Cambridge Chemistry Challenge
  • Trips to conferences and universities

Higher Education and career prospects

Chemistry A Level is a necessary requirement for a number of degree courses, including: Medicine, Veterinary Science, Forensic Science, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Biological Sciences, Pharmacy and Environmental Science. It can also provide a breadth of study for application to banking, law or businessrelated degrees.

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