Chemistry - A Level only

Exam Board: OCR

Expectations of Independent Study

Students are expected to complete approximately 5 hours of independent study outside of lessons to apply their understanding of the concepts taught.

Entry Requirements

Grade 9-7 for core and additional Science or 9-7 in Chemistry GCSE. Grade 9-6 Mathematics.

Why is it interesting?

A level Chemistry will give you an exciting insight into the contemporary world of Chemistry.  The course combines academic challenge and practical focus to develop student’s enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study, helping students appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.

What skills and knowledge will I develop by studying this subject?

Students will develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of How Science Works and develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of Chemistry and how they relate to each other, including practical skills.  The development of transferable skills including investigating, problem solving, research, decision making, mathematical skills and analytical skills.

This course would be suitable for students who have the following skills and interests:

A level chemistry is an excellent base for a university degree in healthcare, such as medicine, pharmacy and dentistry, as well as the biological sciences, geography, physics, mathematics, pharmacology, engineering and analytical chemistry.

Chemistry is also taken by many law applicants as it shows you can cope with difficult concepts and have good problem-solving skills.    A range of career opportunities including chemical, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries and in areas such as forensics, environmental protection and healthcare. 

What career pathways are open to me if I study this subject?

Chemistry opens the way to studies and careers in Chemistry, Medicine, Dentistry, Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Science, Food Science, Physiotherapy, Materials Science etc.

Assessment Overview

The A Level is divided into 3 examinations (two 2hrs 15min papers and one 1hr 30min paper) and the Practical Endorsement for Chemistry, which is reported on separately.

Paper 1 makes up 37% of the overall qualification and is based on the periodic table, elements and physical chemistry.

Paper 2 makes up 37% of the overall qualification and is based on synthesis (organic chemistry) and analytical techniques.

Paper 3 makes up the remaining 26% of the qualification. The paper, titled “unified chemistry” is synoptic and consists of structured questions and extended response questions covering theory and practical skills from all aspects of the taught content.

The non-exam part of the course is the practical endorsement which is pass or fail. Student will complete a range of core practical work that will contribute to this holistic teacher assessment.