Chemistry: Durham School: independent day and boarding school in the North East of England for boys and girls
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Explore through Chemistry how the study of substances help to make our life more comfortable.

Head of Department: Mrs Traci Moore

Teaching Staff: Mrs F Gowland, Mr A Wallace


Chemistry is the study of matter, its properties, how and why substances combine or separate to form other substances, and how substances interact with energy. Many people think of chemists as being white-coated scientists mixing strange liquids in a laboratory, but the truth is we are all chemists. 

Doctors, nurses and veterinarians must study chemistry, but understanding basic chemistry concepts is important for almost every profession. Chemistry is part of everything in our lives. 

Every material in existence is made up of matter — even our own bodies. Chemistry is involved in everything we do, from growing and cooking food to cleaning our homes and bodies to launching a space shuttle. Chemistry is one of the physical sciences that help us to describe and explain our world. 

After Durham

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Forensics, Nursing, Pharmacology, Biomedical Science and Chemical Engineering are some of the more common routes our pupils have taken over the years, but an A-level in Chemistry will demonstrate a skill set and aptitude beyond the realms of the direct use of the Chemistry itself. Due to the diverse range of skills Chemistry develops we have seen the A-level help students begin study in Accountancy, Egyptology, Law, different forms of Engineering and Criminology.



Chemistry is challenging. It is really, really challenging; but I think that is what makes it so rewarding. I love how it is constantly evolving and advancing as ’new science’ is discovered, but mostly I love the moment when everything FINALLY comes together and all makes sense. What makes it so great at Durham School, is that even if it takes weeks or months to get to that point, the teachers will support you every step of the way until you do and make time to give you all the help you need. I would seriously recommend taking up and offers to help when they arise because in the end, the time is worth it. 

Kirstie Kirkley, Year 12
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