Examination Board: AQA
Chemistry A Level provides a real in-depth knowledge of this fascinating subject, preparing you for further education or giving you the credentials to enhance your job prospects. The course is underpinned by the practical skills we call ‘How Science Works’. Chemists have greatly improved the quality of life for the majority of people by being real innovators, designing solutions to the problems that affect modern times. Whether you want a job in medicine or industry, Chemistry is
the solid platform upon which many careers are built. Chemistry provides an excellent broad range of skills including numeracy and problem solving, desirable in most career paths.
For the AS Level you will study:
There are two learning units in the first year.
Paper 1 covers foundation subjects like atomic
structure, bonding, periodicity and equilibria
and their relevant practical skills.
Paper 2 is the study of topics like kinetics, an
introduction to organic chemistry and
analytical techniques and relevant practical
For the A Level you will study:
A similar format is followed in year two.
Paper 1 Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (periodicity and transition metals)
Paper 2 Organic and Physical Chemistry (aldehydes, carboxylic acids, polymers etc.)
Paper 3 Any content from AS and A Level (including practical skills assessment)
How is the course assessed?
In the first year you’ll have two assessments.
Paper 1 90-minute written paper
Paper 2 90-minute written paper
Both papers comprise 65 marks from short- and long-answer questions and 15 multiple-choice questions
(total 80 marks on each paper)
In the second year you will have a further three assessments.
Paper 4 120-minute – 105 marks of short- and long-answer questions
Paper 5 120-minute – 105 marks of short- and long-answer questions
Paper 6 120-minute – 40 marks on practical techniques and data analysis, 20 marks testing from the whole specification (synoptic questions) and 30 marks for multiple-choice questions.
What skills will I need and develop in this course?
• How to assemble data and assess it
• How to investigate facts and use deduction
• How to express your point of view clearly
• How to work as a team to achieve results
Subject combination advice
Students who take Chemistry often also study from a wide range of subjects including psychology, sociology, biology, physics, languages and mathematics.
What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?
Chemistry is a great choice for people who want a career in health and clinical professions, such as medicine, nursing, biochemistry, dentistry or forensic science. It will also equip you for a career in industries such as petrochemicals or pharmaceuticals. It is also excellent preparation for a career in engineering.
What are the formal entry requirements for this course?
Chemistry GCSE minimum Grade 6, combined science GCSE minimum Grade 7.
What activities enrich this subject?
Reading scientific journals such as Nature or New Scientist. Watching programmes of wider scientific interest. Keeping abreast of new scientific developments in the news. Seminars such as Chemistry in Action in London.
The Chemistry Department aims to promote and inspire students to enjoy Chemistry through a broad range of other activities which include an active Crest Award Scheme, lecture days, industrial visits and in school events, including the annual chemistry cake competition!