Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure and properties of matter as well as the changes it undergoes during chemical reactions. It is the study of substances, what they are made of, how they interact and the role they play in living things. It is the study of all materials and is vital to every aspect of your life.
Chemists have greatly improved the quality of life for the majority of people. A-Level Chemistry is the study of chemists as innovators designing solutions to the problems that affect modern life. After gaining an understanding of basic concepts like Atomic Structure and Bonding, students go on to study aspects of Chemistry that are often in the media and affect their lives. These include the combustion of alkanes and how burning fossil fuels leads to a net release of carbon dioxide which may cause global warming. They investigate alternative energies, such as biodiesel and fuel cells. Polymers and plastics have many uses in modern society, but chemists are now addressing issues surrounding their disposal. Biodegradability, environmental impacts and advantages of recycling are addressed. The pharmaceutical industry makes advances to improve human life. Students will learn the benefits and associated risks to humans from medicines. We recognise the contribution chemists make to everyday lives. By understanding the reactions CFCs undergo in the upper atmosphere and consequent ozone damage, chemists were able to produce alternatives.
Career paths directly related to Chemistry include medicine and veterinary science, dentistry, pharmacy, biomedical sciences, chemical engineering, fuel technology and forensic science. The skills of numeracy, problem solving and communication are an integral part of Chemistry and therefore an A-Level in Chemistry could also lead to careers such as accountancy, banking and law.
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