Studying Advanced Level Chemistry at King Solomon Academy


Why study Chemistry?

Chemistry is a physical science in every sense of the word. It is not merely concerned with the idea of chemicals and matter. It is more concerned with how these chemicals change when they interact with each other. It is here where the fascination of chemistry truly lies: it is the study of change. Understanding these changes may seem very demanding at first, but the ideas and principles are actually built on a set of fundamental underlying patterns. Upon mastery of these patterns, it becomes accessible and a joy to study. Our aim is to help pupils understand these key patterns; they can then enjoy the logic that underpins the subject, and use it to explore and make sense of chemical changes they see every day.

What will we study at AS?

The OCR Salters’ Chemistry course covers the core chemistry required for the A level pupil, but puts it in the context of everyday materials and processes. This approach is intended to help stimulate the pupil's interest and enjoyment of the subject whilst covering the required contents.

The following units form the AS study:

  · Chemistry for Life (units on the elements of life and developing fuels)

  · Chemistry of Natural Resources (units on minerals to elements, the atmosphere and the polymer revolution)

  · Chemistry in Practice (AS internal assessment)

How is our learning assessed at AS?

The following units are assessed in the following way:



Proportion of AS/A Level

Chemistry for Life

Exam: 1hr 15mins

AS Level: 30%

A Level: 15%

Chemistry of Natural Resources

Exam: 1hr 45mins

AS Level: 50%

A Level: 25%

Chemistry in Practice

Internal Assessment

AS Level: 20%

A Level: 10%

What will we study at A2?

The following units form the A2 study:

· Chemistry in Materials (units on the materials revolution, the thread of life, the steel story and what’s in a medicine)

· Chemistry by Design (units on agriculture and industry, colour by design, the oceans, and medicines by design)

· Chemistry Individual Investigation (A2 internal assessment)

How is our learning assessed at A2?

The following units are assessed in the following way:



Proportion of AS/A Level

Chemistry in Materials

Exam: 1hr 30mins

A Level: 15%

Chemistry by Design

Exam: 2hrs

A Level: 20%

Chemistry Individual Investigation

Internal Assessment

A Level: 15%

Which subjects complement a study of Chemistry?

Many of the topics contain a great deal of mathematical content, and whilst A Level maths is not required to understand this content, studying this subject also is an advantage. Some of the content also overlaps with the physics and biology curricula. Studying these subjects alongside chemistry would be advantageous. Chemistry is a concise subject that requires deep thought. Studying Chemistry would complement A levels which are essay based, or that have a heavy reading load, like Biology, History, Geography, English and Modern Languages.

What could I do next with an A level qualification in Chemistry?

Chemistry is often seen as one of the most demanding A Level subjects to take, and as a consequence is well respected and admired by prospective universities and employees. A Level chemistry is an essential qualification for careers in healthcare such as medicine, veterinary science, pharmacy and dentistry. It is also a very useful qualification for careers in the biological sciences, physics, mathematics, geology and environmental science. Outside the world of science, chemistry is also taken by many law applicants as it shows you can cope with difficult concepts. It is also often taken by people who end up working within banking and finance.

Which skills will I be developing through studying Chemistry?

Chemistry will help develop some key skills that can be applied outside of the subject discipline; these include problem solving, numeracy, practical skills as well as developing a broad scientific background.

Are there any extra-curricular opportunities to support my study of Chemistry?

There will be opportunities to attend chemistry lectures held at external locations in the UK, such as the Royal Society. There will also be the opportunity to visit industrial sites where pupils can see the chemistry that you have been learning in action, such as oil refineries and gas monitoring stations.

What are the KSA requirements for entry onto the course?

You must have achieved at least ABB in Triple Science GCSE (AAA+ preferred).

You must have achieved at least AB in Double Science GCSE (AA+ preferred).

You must have achieved at least AB in Double Science GCSE (AA+ preferred). Grades achieved in exam papers will be analysed to identify suitability