A Level Chemistry


Chemistry is fundamental to life – clothing, food and medicine all rely on chemical processes and chemists hold the key to solving some of the big challenges we face, from food security to climate change. Choose A Level Chemistry to build practical skills fundamental to understanding the nature of chemistry, alongside data collection and analysis experience, mathematical and problem-solving skills.

Why St Mary’s

Inspired by subject-specialist teachers you will learn in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, equipped with everything you need to develop your theoretical and practical skills to full potential.

As you become a more independent learner, our approach focuses on learning ‘how to think’ – not ‘what to think’. These key skills offer exceptional preparation for university study and employment.

Our enriched learning opportunities can include:

Enabling your transition from GCSE

In our small classes, you will have access to experienced teachers who can offer regular in-depth support, tailored to suit your strengths. Lessons are differentiated, and the pace adjusted to suit all levels of ability. Weekly surgeries offer additional support when needed, and homework is set to support progression through constructive feedback and target setting.

We teach A Level from first principles to ensure all students are fully supported, regardless of their GCSE science options (Double Award or Single Award science). 

Course overview

AS Level content

Module 1 Development of practical skills in Chemistry

  • Skills of planning, implementing, analysis and evaluation

Module 2 Foundations in Chemistry

  • Atomic structure
  • Quantitative chemistry: formulae, equations, amount of substance and the mole
  • Reactions of acids
  • Oxidation number and redox reactions
  • Bonding and structure

Module 3 Periodic table and energy

  • The periodic table and periodicity
  • Group 2 and the halogens
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Enthalpy changes
  • Reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative)

Module 4 Core organic chemistry

  • Basic concepts
  • Alcohols and haloalkanes
  • Organic synthesis
  • Analytical techniques (IR and MS)

A Level content

Modules 1 to 4 as described in the AS Level content.

Module 5 Physical Chemistry and transition elements

  • Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative)
  • pH and buffers
  • Enthalpy, entropy and free energy
  • Redox and electrode potentials; transition elements

Module 6 Organic Chemistry and analysis

  • Aromatic compounds
  • Carbonyl compounds
  • Carboxylic acids and esters
  • Nitrogen compounds
  • Organic synthesis
  • Chromatography and spectroscopy (NMR)


A Level assessment

  • Paper 1: Periodic table, elements and physical Chemistry assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5 (2 hours 15 minutes) worth 37% of the total mark.
  • Paper 2: Synthesis and analytical techniques assesses content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6 (2 hours 15 minutes) worth 37% of the total mark.
  • Paper 3: Unified Chemistry assesses content from modules 1-6 (1 hour 30 minutes) worth 26% of the total mark.
  • Non exam assessment: practical endorsement in Chemistry requires completion of 12 practical experiments.

AS Level assessment

  • Paper 1: Breadth in Chemistry assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 4 (1 hour 30 minutes) worth 50% of the total mark
  • Paper 2: Depth in Chemistry assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 4 (1 hour 30 minutes) worth 50% of the total mark

Visit our Sixth Form

At a glance

Entry requirements

GCSE grades (or equivalent)

  • Subject 1: Chemistry: 6+ or Science Double Award: 77+
  • Subject 2: Mathematics: 6+
  • Subject 3: English Language: 5 (CEFR B2.2)
  • Grade 7+ in either GCSE Chemistry or Mathematics is required


You will enjoy this course if you...
  • Have an aptitude for practical work
  • Like analysing and evaluating information
  • Have an enquiring mind
  • Can present your ideas clearly
  • Like exploring abstract ideas

What our teachers say...

“Why teach chemistry?

I would echo a quote from Peter Atkins: 'Chemistry begins in the stars'. The stars are the source of the chemical elements, which are the building blocks of matter and the core of our subject.”

“Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.” Rosalind Franklin, Chemist and X-ray crystallographer

Humans have always relied on chemistry to shape the way we live – from metal work in the Copper Age 5000BC, to today’s digital innovation and emerging areas of science such as bioscience and nanoscience.

In the coming century, the real-world application of chemistry will be critical to key problems we face as a society, including sustainable energy, food security, medicine, managing our environment and providing clean air and water.


Chemistry opens up a whole world of opportunities for the future. It is required for a number of degrees courses, including: medicine, veterinary, forensic science, dentistry, physiotherapy, biological sciences, pharmacy and environmental science.

Studying chemistry also opens us career options in diverse sectors, including banking, education, law and business.

Leaver destinations

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