A Level Chemistry

Chemistry will help you get ahead in most STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) careers and more besides. For example, Chemistry is an important subject for careers in: medicine, biomedical science, veterinary science, dentistry, environmental science, engineering, toxicology, developing perfumes and cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, energy, teaching, science writing, software development and research

Over the two years students will be taught core chemical concepts from physical, inorganic and organic areas of chemistry, as well as practical techniques. There are numerous opportunities for practical skill development throughout the entire course including the opportunity to use high-tech spectroscopic techniques through our work with Spectroscopy in a Suitcase representative.

How is it assessed?


Three 2 hour exams, contributing to 85% of the final grade.

Practical Skills

These are assessed within the all three written papers. To answer these questions students will have been taught and acquired competence in the appropriate areas of practical skills required by the exam board.
In addition, students will need to be awarded a ‘pass’ by their teacher for practical skills mastery. This is a separate endorsement alongside the A-level. In order to achieve a pass, students will need to have met expectations developed through the explicit acquisition of the technical skills in any practical activity undertaken throughout the course of study. There are 12 practical activities prescribed in the specification, which cover the requirements. All of this will be evidenced and centrally stored in school in folders. All students have to complete the practical work in order to achieve a pass.

Practical concepts covered:

  • Make up a volumetric solution and carry out a simple acid–base titration
  • Measurement of an enthalpy change
  • Investigation of how the rate of a reaction changes with temperature
  • Carry out simple test-tube reactions to identify cations and anions
  • Distillation of a product from a reaction
  • Tests for alcohol, aldehyde, alkene and carboxylic acid
  • Measuring the rate of reaction by an initial rate method and by a continuous monitoring method
  • Measuring the EMF of an electrochemical cell
  • Investigate how pH changes when a weak acid reacts with a strong base and when a strong acid reacts with a weak base
  • Preparation of a pure organic solid and pure organic liquid and test of its purity
  • Carry out simple test-tube reactions to identify transition metal ions in aqueous solution
  • Separation of species by thin-layer chromatography
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