Head of Chemistry: Dr D Henriques
We study the composition and properties of matter, as well as the way chemicals interact with each other and with energy.
Every time we light a match, boil an egg or drive a car, we carry out chemical reactions and interact with the world of atoms. By analysing how these atoms interact, Chemistry is able to explain many of the phenomena of life in the 21st Century. The A Level Chemistry course develops an understanding of the fundamental concepts in Chemistry and lays the foundations for further study in a wide range of courses.
Examination board: OCR A
Module 1 Practical Chemistry
Practical skills assessed throughout study
Module 2 Foundations in Chemistry
Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations; amount of substance; acid–base and redox reactions; electrons, bonding and structure
Module 3 The 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 (Infrared Spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry)
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)
All modules are assessed during three written examinations.
Students are invited to attend SydSci, a series of lectures and practical workshops showcasing in-house expertise and outside speakers. During these sessions, a wide range of current science and technology issues are addressed to broaden students’ knowledge and develop their problem solving skills. Students considering careers in Medicine, Dentistry, or Veterinary Science should also attend MedSoc, an in-depth programme organised to help students maximise their chances of achieving a place on these courses. There are also a variety of lectures and conferences at higher education establishments on offer and many opportunities to visit exhibitions where students are encouraged to network with scientists and engineers.
University and Beyond
Achieving an A Level in Chemistry equips students with highly desirable transferable skills such as analytical ability, logical thinking, numeracy and research skills. Universities and employers view success at Chemistry A Level as a clear indication of sound academic ability. Chemistry complements other humanities and arts subjects, as well as the sciences. There are varied career paths open to students with an A Level in Chemistry, such as medicine, pharmacy, food science, engineering, computer programming, teaching, research, management and law, to name just a few.