ChemistryAt its core, Chemistry is the science of transforming materials. Understanding Chemistry allows us to change the universe.
What is Chemistry?
From the traditional idea of bubbling flasks containing multicoloured liquids to modern visualisations of molecules, Chemistry evokes a wide range of images. But at its core it is the science of transforming materials. Understanding Chemistry allows us to change the universe.
In the Beginning
Ever since primitive man made paint and harnessed fire to extract metals, Chemistry has been used. The ancient Greeks studied transformations such as wood to smoke and formulated ideas still recognisable in today’s theories. In the middle Ages, Chemistry was a mystical pseudo-science performed by alchemists in search of the ‘philosopher’s stone’ to turn lead into gold. Despite some doubtful science they did develop important techniques still used today, such as distillation and the extraction of metals.
Chemistry is now a multi billion pound industry employing hundreds of thousands of chemists worldwide. The quest to make valuable materials continues to be the driving force of the subject and is at the cutting edge of science. Modern medicine simply wouldn’t be possible without the medicines developed by chemists, in fact, most of the things found around the average home have benefited in some way from the practise of modern Chemistry.
This is a demanding and rewarding subject. You will develop a wide range of skills such as visualisation, drawing, using symbols and equations, numeracy, problem solving and a good standard of written English. You will learn to use precision apparatus to make quantitative measurements, draw complex conclusions from observations and synthesise new substances. When you master these many aspects of Chemistry you will stand tall in the academic world, able to interpret and manipulate complex data; process subtle and sophisticated abstract concepts and synthesis new substances – some with long, unpronounceable names. You will be able to find solutions to real-world problems.
Chemistry is fun too!
With a good knowledge of Chemistry you will not only understand how to balance an equation, discuss moles like a pro and produce witch repelling potions at the drop of a hat but you will also have a better understanding of how everyday, real-world phenomena actually work. It won’t be long before you’re stood in the shower reading the back of your shampoo bottle and smiling to yourself at how clever you are for understanding the names of the chemicals on it.
What will I actually study?
At Abbey College Manchester we teach the Edexel syllabus and pride ourselves on approaching the subject in an interesting and practical way coupled with a thorough approach to the subject.
The first year A-Level course includes atomic structure and bonding, energetics, reactions of elements, moles calculations and organic chemistry.
The second year A-Level course is much more in depth and includes kinetics, equilibria, more organic reactions and organic synthesis, transition metals and redox equilibria.
There is no coursework but this has been replaced by 16 core practicals which are compulsory and carried out throughout the two years
This A Level is one the most valued qualifications you can achieve, recognised for gaining entry onto a very wide range of university courses from the obvious choice of science & engineering to business, finance, law computing and many others. It is still the most important subject for medical sciences. As a qualified chemist, there is a huge choice of career open to you in science and technology but also in management, marketing, communications, law… the list goes on.
Am I Right for Chemistry?
If you are interested in studying in Chemistry at A-Level then it is important that you have studied the subject before to provide a solid knowledge of key concepts. You should also be comfortable at maths and English language as written skills are very important. The ability to think in the abstract and to be able to visualise ideas in your mind is very important to be a good chemist.