Chemistry A Level

Course Overview

Have you ever wondered how many atoms there are in a drop of water? Or thought about what is happening to the dye molecules in your clothing to give them colour? Would you be interested to know what is inside the medicine you take? Our A Level Chemistry course will help you discover answers to questions like these and transform your appreciation of the world around you.

This course will develop your understanding of unimaginably tiny particles like atoms, molecules and ions that you cannot directly experience, and reveal how the structure and arrangement of these particles affects the properties of materials you can actually see. You will also learn how to describe and represent the structures and substances you encounter in a way that will allow effective communication with other chemists.

The course is presented in a series of ten topical storylines in which you will see the relevance of all the chemistry you study. These include reactions in the atmosphere leading to ozone depletion, creating efficient chemical processes for industry and designing drug molecules with the correct shape to interact with a particular enzyme. Practical work is integrated into every topic and you will have plenty of opportunities to develop your experimental skills in our specialised laboratories, using extensive equipment and materials and collaborating with other students. You will also have an opportunity to carry out a chemistry based research project as part of an Extended Project Qualification.

Chemistry is central to science and highly valued by universities and employers because of the range of skills you develop. The course is essential for entry into many medical and veterinary orientated courses and suitable for further study in engineering, biochemical sciences and pharmacy as well as many others.

Year 1 Modules

  • Elements of Life
  • Developing Fuels
  • Elements from the Sea
  • Ozone Story
  • What’s in a Medicine?

Year 2 Modules

  • Polymers of Life
  • Chemical Industry
  • Developing Metals
  • Oceans
  • Colour by Design

male and female student in science lab looking at scientific models

Key Info

Minimum Entry Requirements

  • Five GCSEs at Grade 5 including: 
    • Grade 6 in GCSE Maths
    • Grade 6 in GCSE Chemistry
    • Grade 6 in another GCSE Science or GCSE Double Science
    • Grade 4 in GCSE English Language or GCSE English Literature


  • 100% Exam
  • Exam Board: OCR



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Why choose this course? 

Throughout the course you will have opportunities to arrange 1:1 discussions with a member of the Chemistry team if you need specific help with any aspect of the A Level. Each year we organise a range of visiting speakers to cover different topics of interest and career guidance. We also support students to enter Chemistry competitions such as the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and the Chemistry Olympiad. You also have the opportunity to carry out a lab based Extended Project Qualification. 

You will enjoy this course if...

  • You are curious about the nature of materials and how they interact.
  • You are interested in finding out about the applications of Chemistry to areas as diverse as the upper atmosphere, the cause of colour in clothing dyes, development of fuels and design of drug molecules.
  • If you like imagining extremely tiny particles and how this will affect macroscopic objects.
  • You are good at visualising objects in three dimensions.
  • If you enjoy collaborating with other students on practical tasks and analysing data obtained from experiments. 

Skills you'll gain

You will begin by developing your understanding of the fundamental concepts in Chemistry. This includes atomic structure, bonding, “counting” particles using moles and learning to draw and understand organic structures. You will also encounter many completely new ideas for the first time, such as the angles between bonds in small molecules and the information that can be determined about structures by analysis of their interaction with radiation. You will also gain significant experience at applying maths to solve chemical problems. Your practical skills will be developed throughout the course via a range of experimental work as well as data analysis and interpretation of observations. 

After Long Road

A Level Chemistry will be excellent preparation for university courses in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmacy and Engineering and a significant proportion of our students’ progress onto courses such as these. Chemistry is also an essential course for careers and university courses in Medicine and Veterinary Science. A Level Chemistry is also highly valued for entry onto other courses such as Law and Finance. There are also many non-university progression routes, for example, apprenticeships or degree-apprenticeships in the pharmaceutical industry.

The course is well-structured with a lot of support work for every type of student, from extra help sessions to work that helps even the best of students improve.