Content – units, assessment, qualifications
The full A-Level consists of nineteen different topics, the AS consists of 10: -
Topic 1 Atomic Structure & the Periodic Table
Selected Topic Summaries
- Topic 2 Bonding & Structure
- Topic 3 Redox I
- Topic 4 Inorganic Chemistry & the Periodic Table
- Topic 5 Formulae, Equations & Amounts of Substance
- Topic 6 Organic Chemistry I
- Topic 7Modern Analytical Techniques I
- Topic 8 Energetics I
- Topic 9 Kinetics I
- Topic 10 Equilibrium I
- Topic 11 Equilibrium II
- Topic 12 Acid-Base Equilibria
- Topic 13 Energetics II
- Topic 14 Redox II
- Topic 15 Transition Metals
- Topic 16 Kinetics II
- Topic 17 Organic Chemistry II
- Topic 18 Organic Chemistry III
- Topic 19 Modern Analytical Techniques II
Atomic Structure & Periodic Table – The course starts with a look at the atom, the building blocks of chemistry. We discover the subatomic particles that make up an atom and look at how mass spectrometry is used to determine molecular masses.
Bonding & Structure – This topic develops on understanding atomic structure and looks more at molecules and the types of bonding witnessed in different types of molecule. Previous study of ions is developed and we explore radii and other physical properties and the effects these have on the behaviour of atoms and ions.
Redox I – This topic is concerned with balancing equations and how the concept of oxidation numbers can provide a very efficient tool in this area.
Inorganic Chemistry and the Periodic Table – A more detailed look at some of the groups of the periodic table. Discover the elements of group 1 and 2 as well as the halogen gases of group 7. Learn more about these groups and how their physical properties decide their external characteristics.
Formulae, Equations and Amounts of Substance– Discover the concept of the “mole” and meet Avogadro’s constant, as well as calculating reacting masses and volumes and identifying both empirical and molecular formulae.
Organic Chemistry – There are three topics relating to organic chemistry; that is, chemistry relating to compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. The first of these topics provides an introduction to the discipline and starts to introduce key homologous series, including the alkanes and alkenes. The Second organic topic introduces important functional groups including the carbonyls and carboxylic acids and discusses the concept of chirality. The third and final organic chemistry topic develops this understanding further and introduces further organic species including the arenes and aromatic rings as well as the nitrogen-containing organic series.
Modern Analytical Techniques – The two topics covering modern analytical techniques describe the key, cutting edge methods being employed in chemical analysis. Starting in the first topic with Mass spectrometry and IR spectroscopy before, later in the course, expanding on mass spectrometry and then introducing nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and chromatography.
Energetics – the topics on energetics learn to use Hess’s law to calculate otherwise immeasurable energy changes in chemical reactions as well as discovering bon enthalpies, before being introduced to lattice energies and the concept of entropy and how scientists use this idea of “chaos” and “order” to answer important questions about chemical stability.
Kinetics – The kinetics topics in the A-Level course show the student how the
Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution and collision theory are key in the creation of models in chemistry and how they account for the different effects that changing variables can have on the rate of a reaction. The later topic in this area explores the effects of catalysts on rates of reaction and introduces the mathematical expressions that describe rates of reaction.
Equilibria – In this topic, discover the fact that many chemical reactions are completely reversible and the idea of dynamic equilibrium. Students will also learn how changing variables like temperature, concentration or pressure can affect the position of a reaction’s equilibrium. The equilibrium topics continue to look at the maths behind equilibria, introducing Kp and Kc calculations as well as the equilibrium constant.