Why choose Chemistry?

Knowledge of chemistry will give you a greater understanding of the world we live in. Chemistry is the study of substances, what they are made of, how they interact and what role they play in living things and the environment. Everything you see around you involves Chemistry in some way! Chemists provide many of the materials used in everyday life, together with the knowledge to improve healthcare and to appreciate and tackle the major environmental problems that face us all. 

As the central science, Chemistry underpins many other disciplines and could lead to a career rich in challenge, variety and opportunity.  It is an essential subject for those wishing to study medicine, veterinary science, pharmacy and dentistry and it is useful if you are considering entry to degree courses in biology, biological sciences, engineering or geology. It is a highly-regarded subject at A-level and is useful for entry into a wide range of professions. Apart from excellent career prospects within Chemistry itself, its graduates are found in careers as varied as banking, accountancy, law, sport, publishing and art restoration.  

If you enjoy finding out about how the world around you works, and recognising and explaining different patterns of behaviour then you are likely to enjoy Chemistry. Throughout the course, you will carry out practical work to develop your skills and to enhance your learning and enjoyment of the subject. You will be encouraged to participate in competitions such as the RSC Schools’ Analyst Competition and the International Chemistry Olympiad, and there are opportunities to attend conferences and university taster events.

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade A in Chemistry or GCSE grade A in Science and Additional Science, and GCSE grade A in Maths.

Units of Study

AS Level

Chemistry - AS Level

In the first year of the course you will study some foundations of the subject, building on material covered in GCSE courses (eg. atomic structure, electron configurations, bonding and equations). You will then go on to do some chemical calculations and to learn about some organic chemistry (eg. alkanes, alkenes and alcohols) and physical chemistry (eg. rates of reaction, equilibrium and energy changes) as well as some modern analytical techniques.

A2 Level

Chemistry - A2 Level

During the second year, you will enhance your understanding with further study of the 3 main branches of Chemistry (organic, inorganic and physical). This will include, for example, learning about more organic functional groups, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, transition elements, entropy, electrode potentials and a more numerical discussion of rates of reaction, equilibrium and acid/base behaviour.