boys and girls science


Skip Navigation Links   >   Home   >   Academic   >   Curriculum   >   Science, maths & IT   >   Chemistry

Learn more about chemistry

Why study this subject?

A Level Chemistry will give you an exciting insight into the contemporary world of chemistry. It covers the key concepts of chemistry and practical skills are integrated throughout the course. This combination of academic challenge and practical focus makes the prospect of studying A Level Chemistry highly appealing.

You will learn about chemistry in a range of different contexts and the impact it has on industry and many aspects of everyday life. You will learn to investigate and solve problems in a range of contexts.

Which Examination Board?


Does the AS count towards the A Level or is it a standalone qualification?

The AS is a standalone qualification. It does not count towards the A Level. You can opt into the AS qualification if you choose to drop this subject at the end of Year 12.

How will you be assessed?

Students may sit the AS examination in May/June. There are two papers, each is 1 hour 30 minutes and worth 50% of the AS level.

Year 12

  • Breadth in Chemistry 50%
  • Depth in Chemistry 50%

Students will then sit the A Level papers in June. There are 3 papers. Two are 2 hours 15 mins and worth 37% of total A level and 1 unifying 1 hour 30 min paper worth 26% of the total A level.

Year 13

  • Periodic table, elements and physical Chemistry 37%
  • Synthesis and analytical techniques 37%
  • Unified chemistry 26%

At A Level there is a non-examination Practical Endorsement that is Pass/Fail and based on completion of specific practical tasks in class throughout the two years.

What is the outline content over 2 years?

Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry

  • Practical skills assessed in a written examination
  • Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement

Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry

  • Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations
  • Amount of substance
  • Acid–base and redox reactions
  • Electrons, bonding and structure

Module 3 – Periodic table and energy

  • The periodic table and periodicity

Group 2 and the halogens

  • Qualitative analysis
  • Enthalpy changes
  • Reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative)

Module 4 – Core organic chemistry

  • Basic concepts
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Alcohols and haloalkanes
  • Organic synthesis
  • Analytical techniques (IR and MS)

Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements

  • Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative)
  • pH and buffers
  • Enthalpy, entropy and free energy
  • Redox and electrode potentials
  • Transition elements

Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis

  • Aromatic compounds
  • Carbonyl compounds
  • Carboxylic acids and esters
  • Nitrogen compounds
  • Polymers
  • Organic synthesis
  • Chromatography and spectroscopy (NMR)