What Will I Study?

Chemistry B (Salters) is a context-led approach. Learners study Chemistry in a range of different contexts, conveying the excitement of contemporary Chemistry. Ideas are introduced in a spiral way with topics introduced in an early part of the course reinforced later. It places a particular emphasis on an investigational and problem-solving approach to practical work.

Year 1:

(EL) Elements of Life

A study of elements and compounds in the universe, the human body and in salt deposits. The chemical ideas in this module are: atomic structure, atomic spectra and electron configurations; mass spectroscopy and isotopes; fusion reactions; chemical equations and amount of substance (moles); titrations and titration; calculations; the periodic table and Group 2 Chemistry; ions: formulae, charge density, tests; bonding and the shapes of molecules.

(DF) Developing Fuels

A study of fuels, what they consist of, how energy involved in their combustion is measured and the contributions that chemists make to the development of better fuels. The chemical ideas in this module are: gas volume calculations; thermochemistry; homogeneous catalysis; organic chemistry: names and combustion of alkanes, alkenes, alcohols; structural and E/Z isomers; shapes of organic molecules, σ- and π-bonds; reactions of alkenes; addition polymers; electrophilic addition; dealing with polluting gases.

(ES) Elements from the Sea

A study of the extraction of halogens from minerals in the sea, together with a study of the properties and uses of these elements and their compounds. The chemical ideas in this teaching module are: Halogen Chemistry; Redox Chemistry; Equilibrium.

(OZ) The Ozone Story

A study of important processes occurring in the ozone layer of the atmosphere. The chemical ideas in this module are: rates of reaction; radical reactions; intermolecular bonding; haloalkanes; nucleophilic substitution reactions; the sustainability of the ozone layer; the electromagnetic spectrum and the interaction of radiation with matter.

(WM) What's in a Medicine?

A study of medicines such as aspirin, leading to much functional group Chemistry and methods of analysis. The chemical ideas in this module are: the chemistry of the -OH group, phenols and alcohols; carboxylic acids and esters; thin layer chromatography; mass spectroscopy and IR spectroscopy.

Year 2:

(CI) The Chemical Industry

A study of how chemists use industrial processes to benefit mankind. The chemical ideas in this module are: equilibrium and equilibrium constant calculations; kinetics; an overview of the effects of factors on the rate and equilibrium yields of reactions, leading to a consideration of the best conditions for an industrial process; aspects of nitrogen chemistry; a discussion of the costs of an industrial process, including hazards and the effect of these processes on society.

(PL) Polymers and Life

A study of condensation polymers, proteins and enzymes. DNA and its use in synthesising proteins. The chemical ideas in this module are: acid-base equilibria; enzyme catalysis and molecular recognition; optical isomerism; the use of proton and carbon-13 NMR to study structure; amines and amides; condensation polymers; amino acid and protein chemistry; the structure and function of DNA and RNA.

(O) Oceans

A study of the role of the oceans in dissolving substances and maintaining pH. The chemical ideas in this module are: dissolving and associated enthalpy changes; solubility products; acid-base equilibria and pH; entropy; the greenhouse effect.

(DM) Developing Metals

A study of the reactions and properties of the transition metals. The chemical ideas in this module are: cells and electrode potentials; d-block chemistry; redox titrations; colorimetry; rusting.

(CD) Colour by Design

A study of dyes and dyeing and the use of chemistry to provide colour to order. The chemical ideas in this module are: carbonyl compounds and their reactions; organic synthesis and polyfunctional compounds; the chemical origins of colour in organic compounds; aromatic compounds; fats and oils; dyes and dyeing.

How Will I Be Assessed?

There are three Chemistry papers:

  • Fundamentals of Chemistry - 110 marks - a 2 hour 15 minute written paper, worth 41% of the total A Level;
  • Scientific Literacy in Chemistry - 100 marks - a 2 hour 15 minute written paper, worth 37% of the total A Level;
  • Practical Skills in Chemistry - 60 marks - 1 hour 30 minute written paper, worth 22% of the total A Level.

The Practical Endorsement in Chemistry - a non-examined assessment which is reported separately.

What Will I Need?

In addition to a solid GCSE knowledge from either Chemistry or Additional Science, a good understanding of Maths is also necessary.

What Can This Subject Lead To/Prepare Me For?

A Level Chemistry is aimed at students who really enjoy Chemistry and those who possibly need it for Science-based university courses. It is also aimed at students who are likely to need to use Chemistry in their career.

Entry Requirements

A grade 7 in a Science and four other GCSEs at grade 4 or above.

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