Considered to be one of the more challenging A Levels, Chemistry is a problem-solving subject. Students will study the role Chemists play in a variety of relevant and current technologies, such as the development of new medicines and materials, climate change and alternative fuels.

Students will enjoy developing their expertise in a wide range of experimental techniques. Practical experiments are a key feature of the course.

What goes well with this course?

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Languages
  • English
  • Psychology
  • PE
  • Geography
  • Economics


A Level Chemistry is essential for a variety of different degree courses, including: Chemistry, Biochemistry, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science. It is a preferred A Level for most science degree level courses such as: Forensics, Environmental Science and any Biomedical Sciences, and  for many other university courses including Sports Science. A Level Chemistry is well regarded by employers as it demonstrates ability to analyse information, make reasoned judgements and think creatively.

Course Content

This course covers:

  • Atomic structure, the way atoms bond together to make all the materials in the universe
  • Industrial processes to produce everyday chemical products, such as fuels and polymers
  • Developments in Chemistry which brought together the periodic table as we know it today
  • The synthesis of pharmaceutical chemicals including practical methods of reflux, distillation and thin layer chromatography
  • The qualitative analysis of chemicals using precipitation reactions and other chemical tests
  • The quantitative analysis of substances using titrations and melting point analysis
  • Infrared spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy to elucidate structures of chemicals

Educational Experiences

Course Specific Trips, Visits & Experiences

Chemistry A Level students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related experiences. In recent years, these have included:

  • The opportunity to apply for a Nuffield Science student placement
  • A visit to Sussex University to work in the laboratories, experience university life and learn about advanced analytical techniques
  • A visit to the Chemistry Live or Chemistry in Action Conference

Activities Programme

In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s Activities Programme.

Work Experience

All students need to gain an experience of the work place during their time at College and for students studying vocational courses it should ideally be linked to one of their subject areas.


This course is assessed by written examinations covering theory and practical knowledge. Practical competency is also assessed as part of the A Level course.

The exam board for this A Level is OCR B (Salters).

Entry Requirements

All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme. 

In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirements:  

  • Grade 6 in Maths (Higher Tier) and 6 in Chemistry or 6,6 in Combined Science

Students will do well on this course if they:

  • Are interested in the Chemistry of the world around them
  • Can work independently and to deadlines
  • Can solve and rearrange mathematical equations and use graphs
  • Can extract information from new sources
  • Are organised, hard working and want to solve problems rather than be given all the answers

Mathematics is a core part of the course, so students should be confident working with numbers and using formulae in calculations.

How to Apply

Applications for entry September 2020

Students from partner schools (Reigate, Warwick, de Stafford and Oakwood) should complete an online application under the guidance of their school.

All other applicants should download and return the 2020 application form.

All applications will be considered according to the College’s Admissions Policy.

Please see the Admissions timetable for information about the College’s enrolment process.

Back to top
Font Resize