Chemistry is the study of substances. Everything around you involves chemistry and chemists help unlock some of the biggest challenges faced by the world today from the fight against cancer to tackling environmental issues.
What will I study?
The course involves laboratory practical investigations, analysis and group-work to develop your understanding. At first you will build on topics covered in GCSE including materials (structure, bonding, electron configurations), a unit covering organic chemistry (alkanes and alcohols) and physical chemistry (rates of reaction and energy changes) as well as modern analytical methods and ‘green’ chemistry. Later you will study further organic chemistry and analytical techniques, including nuclear magnetic resonance. There is also more physical and inorganic chemistry, including rates, equilibrium, entropy, electrode potentials, energy for the future, and environmental issues.
Each year we enter a team in the RSC Schools Analyst practical competition. There is also an opportunity to enter the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and the national Chemistry Olympiad. A workshop is also offered at a university chemistry department.
Where might it lead?
A qualification in chemistry is highly valued and leads to a wide variety of careers including in the chemical industry, public services, teaching, technical writing and patent law. Chemistry is also an essential subject for those wishing to study medicine, veterinary science, pharmacy and dentistry.