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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 col­or 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 require­ment for A Lev­els at Stam­ford Col­lege is 5 GCSEs at Grade 5/C or above as a min­i­mum for human­i­ties sub­jects and 6/B in maths for all sci­ence subjects.

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

Min­i­mum grade 6/B or above in maths and 66 or BB in Com­bined Sci­ence or Grade 6/B in maths and 6/B in Chem­istry plus 6/B in Biol­o­gy or Physics.

We will review each appli­ca­tion on a case-by-case basis to ensure you get a place on the course most suit­able for you. We offer an online inter­view which will explain the A Lev­el pro­gramme and also allow for an infor­mal chat with the tutor for each sub­ject before an offer to study with us can be made to you.

Once enrolled one of the ways we make sure the course is right for you is through a very effec­tive 6 weeks to suc­cess’ pro­gramme that oper­ates from the first day you start your course. This includes sup­port such as (but not lim­it­ed to):

  • Allow­ing you to change sub­ject and course if you change your mind or find the course is not right for you in the first 6 weeks ‑sub­ject to availability 
  • Mov­ing you between A‑Levels and a Lev­el 3 Diplo­ma if you are find­ing your cur­rent lev­el too hard — sub­ject to availability 
  • One-to-one reviews with your aca­d­e­m­ic tutor to ensure you are pro­gress­ing and achiev­ing well

Our course enquiries and admis­sions team can be con­tact­ed at enquiries@​stamford.​ac.​uk should you have any fur­ther questions.

How The Course Will Be Assessed

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.

You will study 3 A Lev­el sub­jects, plus tuto­r­i­al and career devel­op­ment ses­sions. Each sub­ject has 6 hours per week con­tact time, with approx­i­mate­ly 4 hours of inde­pen­dent study. 

Unfor­tu­nate­ly we can­not accept stu­dents who only want to study a sin­gle A Lev­el sub­ject due to fund­ing limitations.

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 
  • Ther­mo­dy­nam­ics
  • Alka­nes and Halo­gen alkanes 
  • Alco­hols
  • Organ­ic Analysis 
  • Elec­trode Poten­tials and Elec­tro­chem­i­cal Cells 
  • Bio­chem­istry and Spectroscopy


Infographic_ALevels1 Infographic_ALevels2 Infographic A Levels4


I achieved A*, A*, A and secured a place at The Uni­ver­si­ty of Not­ting­ham to study The­o­ret­i­cal Physics and work towards my PHD.

Thomas Vincent



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