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Why Study A Level Chemistry?

‘Chemistry is necessarily an experimental science: its conclusions are drawn from data, and its principles supported by evidence from facts.’ Michael Faraday.

Chemistry is everywhere; the world around us is filled with materials that have been discovered, developed and tested by chemists, such as medicines, foods, fuels, plastics, fertilisers and fabrics. An understanding of the subject can help you answer many questions about everyday life! Why are plants green? How does soap clean? What makes baked goods rise? Why do sauces thicken? Chemistry is also fun! Chemistry experiments can glow in the dark, change colour, produce bubbles, change state and go boom!

Chemistry is the study of matter and energy and how they interact under different conditions and in a variety of settings. This course covers the major topics in chemistry, including molar calculations, structure and bonding, energetics, rates, equilibria, group chemistry, transition metals and a range of organic chemistry; as well as associated experimental skills. As it is a science subject, you will learn how to be objective, analytical, methodical, process and in turn solve problems. You can apply these skills outside academia, and the study of chemistry can help you to understand current events including news about petrol, environmental issues, pollution, health and product scares and more.

Chemistry is often referred to as the ‘central science’ because it helps to connect other sciences to one other, such as Biology, Physics, Geology, Environmental Science, Medicine and Engineering. A Level Chemistry is described as a ‘facilitating’ subject because it allows a wide range of options for degree study. There are many chemistry-related degrees available, including Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Polymer and Materials Chemistry. These degrees can in turn lead to a range of careers as varied as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, forensic chemistry, geochemistry, R & D management, chemical engineering, petroleum engineering, food development, perfumery and waste management.

Note that our experienced University Services Adviser can advise on A Level courses and all aspects of university entrance including application support and references. These services are easy to access though our booking form.

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What do I need to know to enrol?

A Level Chemistry (UK) is available only to students based within the UK. It builds directly on the work you will have done for IGCSE/GCSE in the subject. Grade B or 6 at IGCSE or equivalent is required before starting on the A Level. Due to the knowledge of Mathematics required, we also require that you have Grade B or 6 in Maths at IGCSE or equivalent before embarking on this subject. Wolsey Hall Oxford offers the relevant IGCSE courses should you require further knowledge. All students undertaking Wolsey Hall A levels must also have an IGCSE in English Language at Grade C or 4.

The Syllabus and Exam

A Level Chemistry (UK) prepares you for either the Edexcel AS Level syllabus 8CH0 (for the standalone AS course) or Edexcel Advanced Level syllabus 9CH0 (for the full A Level). Exams take place in May and June.

For the standalone AS in Chemistry, you will take: Paper 1: Core Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (code 8CH0/01) is worth 50% of the overall AS grade. Length: 1 hour and 30 minutes Paper 2: Core Organic and Physical Chemistry (code 8CH0/02) is worth 50% of the overall AS grade. Length: 1 hour and 30 minutes

For the full A Level in Chemistry, you will sit the following 3 papers in the same exam series: Paper 1: Advanced Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (code 9CH0/01) is worth 30% of your overall A Level grade. Length: 1 hour 45 minutes Paper 2: Advanced Organic and Physical Chemistry (code 9CH0/02) is worth 30% of your overall A Level grade. Length: 1 hour 45 minutes Paper 3: General and Practical Principles in Chemistry (code 9CH0/03) is worth 40% of your overall A Level grade. Length: 2 hours 30 minutes

Science Practical Endorsement (code 9CH0/04) A Level  Chemistry (UK) now contains a separate Practical Endorsement, which is an assessment of your skills and competency when completing a minimum of 12 A Level core practicals. The result (either ‘pass’ or ‘fail’) of the Practical Endorsement is reported separately on your A Level certificate, in addition to your overall grade for theory.

You will need to arrange to take this component of the course at an examination centre which offers this option, and you will need to take the written exam at that same centre. We have produced a list of centres that facilitate the Practical Endorsement.

Course Fee

The fee for Edexcel A Level Chemistry is £795 via instalments. There is a discount of 5% for payment in full reducing the fee to £755.

Read more about our fees and discounts.

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