As well as developing excellent laboratory techniques, you'll gain specific knowledge in the traditional fields of organic and inorganic chemistry. As chemistry overlaps with other subjects, you'll pick up skills that are useful in biology and medicine, physics and engineering. Chemistry is also studied in an environmental and social context, so you'll gain awareness of its ethical implications and issues relating to environmental impact and sustainability.
Chemistry is the study of all chemical substances and how to change one chemical into another. The food you eat, the air you breathe, your own body, your mobile phone, the plants and streets around you are made of chemicals. As wewant inexpensive products, chemistry helps to decrease economic costs and as we want a safe environment, chemistry helps to decrease pollution by detecting the toxins and by destroying them.
If you like logical problems and thinking hard, then chemistry is for you. You’ll develop strong mathematical and numerical skills. You'll also develop skills in analysis and problem-solving, time management and organisation, recording and monitoring data and teamwork.
Your knowledge and skills will be assessed in a variety of ways, including:
- Frequent topic tests
- Mock assessments
- Practical assessments
- Exams; the three main branches of chemistry: physical, inorganic and organic will be assessed through two 1.5 hour exams at AS Level (year one) and three 2 hour exams at A Level (year two).
What can I study alongside this A Level?
Chemistry is a concise subject that makes you think. Studying Chemistry would complement A Levels which are essay based, or that have a particularly heavy reading load such as biology, psychology, geography, English and modern languages. Studying more mathematical A Level subjects like mathematics or physics will also be hugely beneficial in coping with the mathematical content in chemistry.
What are the career opportunities?
Each year more students are studying science subjects as they realise that science degrees generally lead on to higher incomes. More students are studying pure chemistry or chemistry based subjects like pharmacy, medical chemistry or environmental chemistry.
AS or A Level Chemistry is particularly important if you want to study medicine, veterinary science, dentistry or biochemistry at university. It is also appreciated by admissions tutors in many other subjects, including law, due to its logical discipline. It is useful if you want to go on and study subjects such as geology, physical geography, engineering or material science. Many chemistry graduates are also recruited by the financial companies in the City of London and so start with high salaries.