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A-Level Chemistry

Practical Vs Theory


Course overview

Gain an understanding of underlying chemical concepts through practical techniques and calculations that develop your analysis and practical scientific skills. Chemistry attempts to answer the big question: What is everything made from?

Not only does Chemistry help us to make sense of the world around us, but Chemistry also touches upon the main social, ethical and cultural issues affecting our lives today. From archaeology to other plants’ atmospheres, and the effect of drugs to the colour of precious stones, Chemistry helps us to understand and enables us to make life better and more interesting. From a knowledge of chemistry, we can prevent and cure disease, develop new materials and explore space- Chemistry is all around us.


What Does The Programme Include

You will study 12 core practical units involving inorganic and organic chemistry including: period 3 elements and their oxides, transition metals and reactions of ions in aqueous solutions. Organic chemistry practicals include: optical isomerism, aldehydes and ketones, aromatic chemistry, amines, polymers, amino acids and proteins, DNA, organic synthesis and chromatography.

Entry Requirements

The standard requirements for A Levels is 5 GCSEs at Grade 5/​C or above as a minimum for humanities subjects and a 6/​B in maths for all science subjects.

Each A Level has its own additional entry requirements, please see below:

Grade 6/​B or above in maths and 6/​6/​B/​B in Combined Science or Grade 6/​B in maths and 6/​B in Chemistry plus 6/​B in Biology or Physics.

How The Course Will Be Assessed

This is a linear subject which means it is examined externally entirely at the end of year two. There will be end of year exams in June of your first year which will determine your progress and whether you can enter the second year. During the two years of study, you will be regularly assessed under test conditions to practise being able to understand and respond to the questions asked in the correct time allocation so that you are fully prepared for the final exams. There is an assessment calendar for A levels which includes timed assessment every 4 to 5 weeks. Feedback gained from these assessments will help you to develop your skills, target your revision and where necessary enable us to provide additional support. In addition, you will be required to undertake a minimum of 12 assessed practicals and write up all supporting information in a lab book.

Additional Information

It is recommended that you consider taking Mathematics to help you with your studies in A Level Chemistry. You will be expected to attend maths for scientists sessions once per week if you do not take maths. A lab coat and safety glasses are required for this course, these can be purchased from the college and will cost approximately £15 or you can use the ones we have. You will also need a scientific calculator.

Potential Future Career

Example job roles:

  • Analytical Chemist
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Clinical Biochemist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Doctor
  • Toxicologist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Science Writer
  • Secondary School Teacher

Studying further degrees in:

  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Pre-clinical Medicine
  • Mathematics
  • Pharmacology

Course Content

You will study the following units:

  • Atomic Structure
  • Bonding
  • Energetics and Kinetics
  • Chemical Equilibria
  • Theremodynamics
  • Alkanes and Halogenalkanes
  • Alcohols
  • Organic Analysis
  • Electrode Potentials and Electrochemical Cells
  • Biochemistry and Spectroscopy


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Teachers use their expertise and experience well to plan and deliver high-quality theory lessons and practical sessions.




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