A Level: Chemistry

Course title: Advanced GCE in Chemistry

Exam board: AQA

Subject specific entry criteria: Minimum Grade 7 in GCSE Chemistry or Grade 7-7 in GCSE Combined Science and a minimum Grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics. In addition, due to the content of the new GCSE specifications, we recommend that pupils have taken separate sciences at GCSE.

Course overview

At A Level, the specification develops the concepts of Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.

Physical Chemistry: kinetic and equilibria principles are further developed and are now treated quantitatively, which includes applying complex equations.

Inorganic Chemistry: periodicity is looked at in greater detail and the transition metals and their reactions form a large part of the content.

Organic Chemistry: nomenclature, isomerism and complex mechanisms are looked at in detail.

Assessment overview

Paper 1: (35% of A Level; 105 marks)

  • 2-hour written exam on Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Practical Skills.


Paper 2: (35% of A Level; 105 marks)

  • 2-hour written exam on Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Practical Skills.


Paper 3: (30% of A Level; 90 marks)

  • 2-hour written exam on any content and any Practical Skills. 30 marks of multiple-choice questions.


All 3 exams to be taken in June of Year 13.

Practical Skills Endorsement

A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A Level. This will be assessed by teachers and will be based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams.

Future progression

Most universities have BSc Chemistry (F100) courses. Most of the leading universities require A Level Chemistry Grade A, but this changes year on year, and entry requirements for leading universities range from A*AA to ABB. In addition to A Level Chemistry, most universities require Mathematics A Level and/or a second Science subject.

Potential careers

A degree in Chemistry can lead to careers in analytical chemistry, chemical engineering, forensic science, medicine, the military, pharmaceuticals, research and development, space exploration, textiles, polymers and much more.

How to succeed in Chemistry

You will need:

  • a great enthusiasm to learn and study Chemistry
  • a determination to succeed
  • to be extremely resilient and resourceful when your studies become very challenging
  • a very good understanding of mathematics
  • strong practical, analytical and thinking skills.