About the course
Chemistry is the science of the structure, properties, and reactions of matter. It is a basic science, key to an understanding of the world we live in, and a practical science with an enormous number and variety of important applications. Knowledge of chemistry is fundamental to an understanding of biology and biochemistry and of certain aspects of geology, astronomy, physics, and engineering.
The course is divided into topics, each containing different key concepts of chemistry. Once the key features of a topic have been developed, applications are considered.
The delivery methods include lectures, group work and laboratory work, with regular homework being set which plays an important part of the learning process.
The first year of the course builds upon the chemical concepts that have been developed at GCSE; atomic structure, bonding, reactions associated both with inorganic and organic chemistry as well as looking at modern analytical techniques and the link between chemistry and the environment. These concepts are then further developed in the second year.
The aims of this course are to encourage you to:
- develop your interest in, and enthusiasm for chemistry, including developing an interest in further study and careers in chemistry;
- appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society;
- develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of How Science Works;
- develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of chemistry and how they relate to each other.
You will develop a variety of skills throughout the course including being able to;
- analyse and evaluate scientific knowledge;
- apply scientific knowledge and processes to unfamiliar situations;
- assess the validity, reliability and credibility of scientific information;
- demonstrate and describe ethical, safe and skilful practical techniques and processes;
- make, record and communicate reliable and valid observations and measurements with appropriate precision and accuracy.
If you want to do a degree in chemistry you should seriously consider taking maths A level as maths plays an important role in many aspects of chemistry.
Will this subject suit me?
Chemistry requires an interest in the subject and an enthusiasm and commitment to work hard. You will need to develop your abilities to work independently and take responsibility for your own progress.
Personal study time
A level students are expected to devote as much time outside the classroom to their studies as in lessons. Homework is set on a weekly basis and it is expected that students will work independently of set work in order to broaden their knowledge.
OCR A level Chemistry A
What students say about this subject.
"It was interesting and fun. The teachers were very good."
"I liked the balance of practical and theory lessons."
"Good mixture of teaching delivery."
"I liked the sequence and flow of topics."
"When help was needed I never had a problem finding it."
"I really enjoyed the environment in the lessons."
"The spectroscopy visit really helped link theory to practice."
At The Sheffield College we will always do our best to support you through your studies, to make them as stress free as possible. We have a specialist support team who can give you all the advice you need on all things financial, including what might be available to you, so that you don't go short and you can concentrate all your efforts into your studies.
If you meet the eligibility criteria we'll be able to support you with free meals. You'll get an amount of money that you can use within the college shops and diners per day. This will be added to your student ID card which you will just swipe to purchase items.
Students (including Apprentices) of The Sheffield College who live in South Yorkshire are eligible for a 16-18 Student Pass which entitles pass holders to cheaper travel on buses and trams in South Yorkshire. Pass holders are also entitled to half fare on Northern train services in South Yorkshire.
Learner Support Fund
If you are enrolled with us, you may receive support towards the cost of:
To study 3 A Levels: 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above including English Language and Maths
To study 4 A Levels: 6 GCSEs at Grade 6 or above, including English Language and Maths
Additional requirements: 6-9 in Maths, 6-9 Double Science or Core + Additional Science. 6-9 in Chemistry if taken individually.
Where can it lead?
A large number of science related University degrees request chemistry as a preferred A level. Any science related employment area welcome chemistry qualifications. You may choose to pursue a degree course in chemistry or other related science courses, such as medicine, biochemistry, dentistry, food science etc.
As a chemist you could make medicines to fight cancer, develop exciting new ice-cream flavours, create new make-up and hair products, design and make new materials for faster computers and more complex mobile phones, protect the environment, etc.