Chemistry A level

What will I study in Chemistry A level?

A level Chemistry is the challenging and rewarding study of all that makes up the physical environment around us. We build on the principles of GCSE and stretch pupils’ knowledge and interest in all three areas of Physical, Organic and Inorganic Chemistry. The course gives a pleasing balance between delving into the theoretical side of our knowledge alongside some thought-provoking and technical practical work. There is no coursework as such but practical skills and understanding will be assessed in the fnal exam and pupils will need to complete the required practicals to receive their certifcate of competency.

Entry requirements

To be eligible for this course pupils will need to have, in addition to the requirements set by the School for entry to the Sixth Form, a minimum of two grade 7s in Science at GCSE. It will be advantageous to have studied triple Science and pupils will be accepted onto this course if they have achieved a grade 7 for Chemistry overall and passed the other two Sciences with a 6 grade or above. Pupils will also need to have passed Mathematics with a grade 6 as there is quite a high level of mathematical skills required.

Units of study

  • Unit 1: Development of practical skills in Chemistry
  • Unit 2: Foundations in Chemistry
  • Unit 3: Periodic table and energy
  • Unit 4: Core organic chemistry
  • Unit 5: Physical chemistry and transition elements
  • Unit 6: Organic chemistry and analysis


A level Chemistry is examined through three exams which are taken at the end of Year 13. Two papers are allocated 2 hours 15 minutes, the fnal one is 1 hour 30 minutes.

Where could it lead?

A level Chemistry is a very good, broadly useful qualifcation to have. It can lead to a range of University courses including Chemical Engineering as well as the more theoretical pure Chemistry, right through to being necessary for biological pursuits such as Medicine and Pharmacology. A vital area of study currently is into Environmental issues, and of course a good understanding of Chemistry will be vital for this. Then there are Material Studies, and perhaps one could even become a Chemistry teacher?