Welcome to Chemistry

Chemistry is an exciting, relevant and challenging science providing answers to everyday questions through a practical and problem-solving approach and chemistry graduates are logical, analytical and natural problem solvers.
It opens the doors to a vast array of career options. Without chemistry the world would be a very different place, no medicines to cure diseases, no toothpastes, deodorants, plastics, paints and dyes. Chemistry is all around us. A-level chemistry is currently an essential requirement for anyone planning to study medicine, veterinary science, natural sciences or dentistry at UK universities. Successful chemistry students need to be able to link key concepts and support their ideas with evidence and mathematical precision. The course is highly practical-based where new concept and ideas are explored through a ‘hands-on, minds-on’ approach where students are encouraged to continually broaden and deepen their understanding to be able to apply ideas in the future.

What you will study
Topics/Areas of Study

The Year 0 develops the foundations and skills that can be transferred to concepts studied later in the course. Students are exposed to practical work throughout the course, whilst developing fundamental ideas to be a successful chemist. Students following this course start above the level of students who have covered GCSE or equivalent courses prior to beginning the 2 year program. We currently follow the AQA Chemistry A level Specification.

Year 0
Atomic structure and bonding, Introduction to organic chemistry, Electrochemistry, Introduction to kinetics, Quantitative chemistry and Biodiversity.

Year 1
Introduction to inorganic chemistry, Energetics, Periodicity, Organic chemistry: Alkanes, alkenes, halogenoalkanes and alcohols, Redox chemistry, Group 2 and Group 7 chemistry.

Year 2
The course builds upon the foundations of Year 1 by extending students’ ideas about organic, inorganic and physical chemistry.

Kinetics, Equilibria, Acids and Bases, Further organic chemistry: carbonyl chemistry, arenes, nitrogen chemistry and organic synthesis, thermodynamics, transition metal chemistry and electrochemistry

Chemistry is a practical subject and throughout both years, students will develop an array of skills based upon experimental work completed in class. Approximately 15% of the total A-level marks available focus on practical skill competency: students are required to complete a minimum of 12 core practical activities over the 2-year course. A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. This will be assessed by teachers and will be based upon direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable by written exams.

Other Opportunities in Chemistry at NMSC

All Year 1 and Year 2 students are entered for Round 1 of the UK Chemistry Olympiad Competition in January. All Year 1 students are entered for the C3L6 Cambridge Chemistry Challenge in June and two teams of Year 1 students per year are entered for the RSC Analyst Competition held in February. Students have the opportunity to attend lectures at local universities to broaden their knowledge of applications of the subject and participate in visits to local universities and the RSC Spectroscopy in a Suitcase project in addition to conferences such as A level Science Live Conference.