Chemistry

As the central science, Chemistry impacts on all parts of our lives. Chemistry is concerned with all aspects of materials: their physical and chemical properties, their composition and structure, their manufacture and use in the 21st century. The materials that engineers and technologists use, the medicines and treatments that pharmaceutical scientists develop, and how atmospheric scientists tackle pollution, all depend on complex chemical reactions. An understanding of Chemistry enables us to meet the growing needs of a fast changing world, and provide solutions to the sustainability challenges that this brings.

Course Type

AS and A Level

Entry requirements

  • Grade B in the Chemistry examined units of GCSE Core and Additional Science or Grade B in the examined units of GCSE Chemistry
  • Level 6 in GCSE Mathematics
  • Level 5 in GCSE English Language

Course breakdown

In Year 12, you will study a range of topics, including:

  • Atomic Structure, Bonding and Periodicity
  • Redox Chemistry, Alkali Earth Metals and the Halogens
  • Energetics, Equilibria and Kinetics
  • Organic Chemistry

In Year 13, you will build on your first year of study, exploring more advanced topics including:

  • Transition Metals and Electrochemistry
  • Thermodynamics, Rate Equations and Gas Equilibria
  • Biochemistry and Further Organic Chemistry
  • Acids, Bases and Buffers

How will the course be assessed?

At the end of Year 12, you will be entered for the AS level in Chemistry. This will assess the content and skills covered in the first year of study.

  • Exam: Inorganic and Physical Chemistry – 1.5 hours – 50% of AS level
  • Exam: Organic and Physical Chemistry – 1.5 hours – 50% of AS level

At the end of Year 13, you will be entered for the A level in Chemistry. This will assess the content and skills covered in both years of study.

  • Exam: Inorganic and Physical Chemistry – 2 hours – 35% of A level
  • Exam: Organic and Physical Chemistry – 2 hours – 35% of A level
  • Exam: Physical, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry – 2 hours – 30% of A level

Note that this is a reformed A level. This means that the grades obtained for the AS level do not contribute to the final A level grade.

As a Science student, you will also be required to demonstrate competence in a set of practical techniques and procedures in order to achieve the Practical Endorsement required for further study of Chemistry at University. As part of the course, you will complete a wide range of practical activities to ensure that you have the best chance of success in meeting the requirements of the Practical Endorsement.

Where can the course lead?

Chemistry is a key subject for careers in the health and clinical professions, such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and forensics, as well as the petrochemical, pharmaceutical and chemical engineering industries. Given its analytical nature, Chemistry is also a strong subject for a range of other courses such as law and finance, as it is one of the facilitating subjects viewed favourably by the Russell Group universities.