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Chemistry will suit students who have found the subject interesting at GCSE; who want to understand how and why chemical reactions occur, how to monitor them, measure them, predict likely outcomes of any substances mixing or reacting and like to do practical work. Some students prefer the more visual and descriptive aspects and others the mathematical problem solving, but overall the main factor contributing to enjoyment and success is a willingness to learn at a steady pace.  This is not a subject that can be left to revise all at the end of two years.  It does have a high content of mathematical problem solving in year 2 (approx. 30%) and students are strongly advised to combine it with another science or with mathematics.  An alternative is to add the one year AS equivalent course, Mathematical Studies, to your program in year.

If you choose this course you would benefit from:

  • Experienced teachers who specialise in chemistry and have experience in industry
  • Trips to universities to find out about studying beyond KEC
  • Working with the Royal Society of Chemistry on analysis of organic compounds
  • Competitions run by Cambridge University and the Royal Society of Chemistry

In the first year you will study:

  • Atomic and electronic structure
  • Acids, Bases and calculations
  • Structure, bonding & forces
  • Periodicity
  • Enthalpy Changes
  • Rates and Equilibrium
  • Organic Chemistry (Alkanes, alkenes, alcohols, haloalkanes and analysis)

In the second year you will study:

  • Transition Elements
  • Redox reactions & electrode potentials
  • Rates of Reaction
  • Enthalpy and entropy changes
  • Equilibria and acids
  • Organic Chemistry (arenes, carbonyls & carboxylic acids derivatives, amines & amides, synthesis and analysis)


What will I be taught?

This course is taught around a flipped learning approach, students make use of materials on the college Moodle site to research make notes on topics before they are delivered in class. This prior research is then assessed in class and activities follow which allow learners to explore the content in more detail and apply them to chemistry problems. In addition, your teacher and personal tutor will review and discuss your progress with you and will be available for advice to support your learning.

Classroom activities will include:

  • Practical work
  • Problem solving in group, pairs and individual work
  • Quizzes
  • Multiple choice test practice
  • Exam question practice

Based on research into how students learn best, each subject will set independent work to allow you to recap what you have done in the past, consolidate understanding for what you are studying in the present and develop the skills and experiences which will help you for the future. You can read more about the college’s approach to independent study here

The Past
Click here for the suggested ongoing revision activities in this subject which research has shown are most likely to boost your achievement

The Present
Each subject will set weekly homework tasks to help you consolidate your understanding and prepare for your next lesson. This work is typically set through Microsoft Teams, so you will have an electronic log of all your work, notes and feedback.

The Future
A key part of your independent work in this subject will be to prepare for a range of potential jobs and higher education courses when you leave us. To get started, look below at the top higher education courses and jobs which previous students of this course have gone on to do.

As part of a wider programme this course provides an excellent basis for progression to many careers or university courses.
Former students of this college have gone on to study these subjects and more: chemistry, pharmacy, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, biomedicine, medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, physiotherapy, nursing, optometry, biology, physics, zoology, material science, IT, business, law, geography, geology, forensic science, engineering.
Students have also gained Higher Apprentice places.

5 x GCSE grades 4-9 (incl. English Language)

Additional Requirements

6 in Maths
6,6 in Chemistry and Physics/Biology (or 66 double award Science)
5 in one other essay based subject: English, Geography, History, Languages

Not essential but it will help your success…

Enthusiasm for Chemistry and for learning analytical skills to solve problems: numerical, visual, and written.
You take a second science subject or Maths.

You take Mathematical Studies if not taking A Level Maths or Further Maths. You prefer to do a course based on final exams only.

Teaching contact time is 4 hours and 20 minutes per subject and workshops will be available throughout the year. Students are expected to complete up to 4 hours of independent study to complete assignments, homework, extra reading and independent research.


100% exam

3 exams:

  • Paper 1: Periodic Table, Elements and Physical Chemistry  37% (2h 15min)
  • Paper 2: Synthesis and Analytical Techniques 37% (2h 15min)
  • Paper 3: Unified Chemistry 26% (1h 30min)
  • There is also a practical endorsement awarded to all students who complete the specified practical work and show competency across all assessed skills. We anticipate all students would pass this unless there have been exceptional circumstances.

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