A-Level Chemistry

Chemisrty at A-Level

 Entrance requirements

Potential candidates must essentially have achieved at least a grade B in GCSE Chemistry.  Students with a B grade will have their performance in the two modules at GCSE closely examined, to determine whether they are making an appropriate choice.  It is also desirable that students have at least a grade B in Further Mathematics, to ensure that they have adequate skills and experience to cope with the mathematical elements that permeate the course.

 Chemistry is the study of elements and the compounds they form.  It includes the study of topics such as hydrocarbons, alcohols, equilibrium, kinetics and the transition metals.  It is a challenging programme, presenting students with opportunities to develop the skills of analysis and deduction, interpretation and experimentation. The aim is to develop the student’s interest in and enthusiasm for Chemistry, but also is a very important subject for those looking to gain access to medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and pharmacy.


AS Course (*new specification from Sept 2016)

AS1: Basic concepts in physical and inorganic chemistry

40% of AS and 16% of A level

Students develop important basic chemical skills such as: writing balanced symbol equations and redox equations, determining oxidation states and using the mole. Students are introduced to the role of bonding and intermolecular forces in influencing the physical properties of compounds.  Skills are further developed in quantitative techniques.


AS2: Further physical and inorganic chemistry and an introduction to organic chemistry

40% of AS and 16% of A level

Students work on the chemistry of the alkanes, alkenes, halogenoalkanes and alcohols.  They receive a qualitative introduction to equilibrium and kinetics and cover thermochemistry in some depth.  They will explore properties and chemistry of the Group II elements. Students further develop key practical skills and techniques, such as preparing, isolating and purifying organic compounds

AS3 : Basic Practical Chemistry

20% of AS and 8% of A level

Students must master certain basic practical skills, these activities are embedded throughout the learning outcomes of the course.


A2: September 2016 will be the last year of this specification.

A2 1: Periodic Trends and Further Organic, Physical and Inorganic Chemistry

40% of A2 and 20% of A level

Students are introduced to units on Lattice Enthalpy and Entropy.  The study of organic chemistry is continued with units on isomerism, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and esters, fats and oils.  Periodic Trends and environmental chemistry complete this module.

A2 2: Analytical, Transition metals, Electrochemistry and Further Organic Chemistry

40% of A2 and 20% of A level

Analytical chemistry is developed through units on mass spectrometry, nmr spectroscopy , volumetric analysis, colorimetry and chromatography.  Chromium to Vanadium from the transitions are studied.  Organic nitrogen compounds lead to the final unit on polymers.

A2 3: Practical assessment

20% of A2 and 10% of A level