GCSE Chemistry

Safeguarding the environment… Curing illness… Feeding people… Improving our daily lives… Chemistry impacts on many aspects of our society. GCSE Chemistry allows students to gain an understanding of the contribution to society and the need for a culture of sustainable development through the study of elements and the compounds they form.

The GCSE course is made up of three units. Unit 1 Structures, Trends, Chemical Reactions and Analysis (35%) involves the study of Elements, compounds and mixtures, Atomic structure and bonding, Equations, Trends in the Periodic Table, Calculations, Acids, Bases and Salts, Analysis of unknown compounds and Solubility of substances. Unit 2 Further chemical reactions, Organic chemistry and Materials (40%) involves the study of the Reactivity Series of Metals, Water, Types of Chemical Reaction including energy changes, Rates of reaction, Non-metals and their compounds, Organic chemistry, Further calculations, Materials including nano-materials and extraction of metals from ores. Unit 3 is a Controlled Assessment Task (25%) which involves Planning and Risk Assessment, Data Collection, Processing, Analysis and Evaluation of data.

A qualification in chemistry is highly valued and leads to a wide variety of careers. If you are undecided, more options are kept open by studying chemistry. When there is no specific A-level requirement for a university course, then chemistry is a very good choice as a numerate central science. It develops many skills e.g. critical thinking, powers of observation, practical skills, modelling, enquiry and problem solving.

Possible career options

The study of chemistry leads to a wide range of careers, for example:

Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary science, Optometry, Agriculture, Microbiology, Botany, Horticulture, Zoology, Marine Biology, Nursing, Environmental Health, Nutrition, Material and Polymer Science, Technology, Materials Engineering, Engineering (other fields), Teaching etc.

Sources of further information

There are many sources of information but here are just a few to get you started: