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A level

Take on a challenging and fascinating subject that will change your view of the world and materials by introducing you to concepts and ideas that you are unlikely to have considered before. You will find yourself simultaneously thinking about the incredibly small scale of atoms, nuclei and bonds and the extraordinarily large number of atoms in a single drop of water.

With a central place in science, Chemistry overlaps with both Biology and Physics and is an essential requirement for many careers such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary science and engineering. The skills in logical thinking and mathematics you will develop are also highly valued by an extensive range of industries such as law, finance and business.

You will study 10 diverse ‘storylines’ including ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere, the causes of colour, designing drug molecules, the origin of elements by fusion in stars, practical synthesis of medicines and the structures and energy changes involved in fuel combustion. As you study these storylines you will develop your understanding of fundamental chemical ideas about bonding, structure, electron arrangements, energy changes, pH, solubility, molecular shape and the feasibility of reactions.

We will encourage and support you to take part in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, the Chemistry Olympiad and give you regular opportunities to use our excellent Chemistry labs to carry out your own experiments.

Course content

Whether it is agriculture, medicine or forensic science that interests you, our course allows you to study the necessary chemical theories and develop appropriate practical skills.

If you want to understand the modern world, if you are inquisitive about what substances are made of, if you enjoy experimental work and can visualise things on a microscopic level, then Chemistry is for you.

Year 1

You will begin by looking at the chemistry of elements and an introduction to organic
chemistry. You will also study the techniques used by chemists and cover the extraction of halogen elements from sea water, redox reactions and atmospheric chemistry, with particular focus on ozone.

Year 2

You will study the chemical industry, gaining an understanding of chemical equilibria, kinetics, and nitrogen chemistry. You will learn about the structure of proteins, DNA and RNA from a chemical perspective. You will study important physical chemistry in the context of the oceans; calculating pH, buffer solutions, solubility and entropy.


  • 100% Exam
  • Exam Board: OCR

Special Features

The content is delivered in ten “chemical storylines” which highlight the relevance of theoretical chemistry to industry, the environment, medicine and current research.

We encourage a wider interest in chemistry through enrichment activities and offer the opportunity to study an extended project qualification.

Med Squad

The Long Road Science department has designed our unique Med Squad programme to support students aspiring to study medicine. Joining our bespoke Med Squad programme means our Science department will work with you from the very moment you start studying at Long Road to support you in preparing for medical school applications.

Our Med Squad team will meet with you twice a term to help you organise work experience using our strong links with Addenbrookes Hospital and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. You will also take part in workshops run by University of Cambridge medical students who will guide you in looking at university open days, preparing for the UCAT / BMAT entry assessment tests and working on your UCAS personal statement.

You will meet with current medical students who will mentor you in preparing for medical school interviews and take part in a practice interview session with our Senior Management Team, based on the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) model popular with the majority of UK medical schools.

Entry Requirements

  • At least 7 GCSEs at Grade 4, including GCSE English.
  • Grade 6 in higher tier GCSE Maths.
  • Grade 6,6, in higher tier GCSE Science and GCSE Additional Science.
  • Grade 6 in at least two GCSE Sciences, including Chemistry, if studied separately.

Please note; you may be required to pay course costs towards your study on this course. Please click here for a full list of 2021/2022 course costs. 

After Long Road

Chemistry opens the door to a wide range of degree courses and careers: chemical research, pharmaceuticals, medicine, food sciences, forensic science, environmental health and engineering.

In recent years many of our students have gone on to BSc or MSci courses in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Environmental Science, Natural Sciences, Dietetics and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Students have also joined degree-level apprenticeships with local companies.

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