Chemistry A Level
A Level Exam Board: OCR
Why study chemistry?
We all do chemistry every day.
As soon as you wake up in the morning, you start doing chemistry. Chemistry explains why an egg changes when you fry it and why your non-stick pan is non-sticky, how soap and shampoo make you clean, why you feel tired before coffee and alert after it, and how the petrol in your car gets you to school or work.
In fact, your body is doing chemistry all of the time; your sense of vision works because a small organic molecule changes shape in the back of your eye when light hits it.
Chemistry is truly the ‘central science’. New breakthroughs in fields such as genetics, biochemistry, medicine, materials science, forensics, nanotechnology, drug discovery, the environment and next-generation computer hardware are all driven by chemistry. Chemistry is about the molecules all around us. It is about matter: specifically, how matter changes.
Studying Chemistry will allow you to learn about why the things around us behave the way they do. A sound knowledge of chemistry is also required to fully understand most other areas of science, and this is why the study of chemistry to A Level is either compulsory or recommended by many other disciplines at universities. However, most importantly, it is just so fascinating and so much fun. If you want to understand the workings of the world around you – then Chemistry is for you.
A GCSE grade of at least a grade 7 in both Chemistry and Mathematics is required. It is also recommended, although not essential, that you study A Level Mathematics.
Chemistry opens up career options. There are many careers in chemistry but even if you’re looking for a job in another field, the analytical skills gained in chemistry are helpful. Chemistry applies to the food industry, retail sales, transportation, art, homemaking… really any type of work you can name.
Chemistry is a very versatile subject and is respected by universities no matter what course you wish to pursue next, whether you want to go into law or business or even science. It is essential for degree courses that are based on the physical sciences, such as Natural Sciences, Engineering and, of course, Chemistry. A Level Chemistry is also essential to study Medicine or Veterinary Science as well as most other Biological or Biomedical Science courses.
Structure of course:
A Level Chemistry is a two-year course and covers the traditional areas of Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry. The exams assess both a breadth as well as a depth of chemistry knowledge and understanding, along with problem solving questions, pushing students beyond the confines of the specification.
Even if you do not go on to use Chemistry directly in your further studies you will find that the broad skill set acquired is invaluable in whatever field you choose. Having an understanding of what all ‘stuff’ is made of and how it all works cannot fail to be of interest to someone with an enquiring mind.