Course aims

This course will provide you with the knowledge and understanding of facts, principles and concepts from different areas of chemistry.

Entry requirements

You must have two GCSE 6 grades in double award science (or 666 in triple award). Your maths GCSE must be grade 6 or higher and you must have a grade 5 in English language, in addition to the general entry requirements.

Course content

Physical & inorganic chemistry: paper 1

Topics include physical chemistry such as amount of substance, kinetics, thermodynamics, equilibria, electrode potentials and acids and bases. Inorganic chemistry topics include alkaline earth metals, halogens, period 3 elements, transition elements and reactions of ions in aqueous solution. Relevant practical skills from a range of specified experiments have to be done over the two years of A level. Paper 1 is worth 35% of the A level course.

Physical & organic chemistry: paper 2

Topics include all physical chemistry rate equations. All organic chemistry such as alkanes and alkenes, organic analysis, carbonyl compounds, aromatics, amines, polymers, amino acids, proteins and DNA and NMR spectroscopy. Relevant practical skills from a range of board-specified experiments have to be done over the two years of A level. Paper 2 is worth 35% of the A level course.

Physical & inorganic chemistry: paper 3

Topics can be from any content and from any practical skills. Paper 3 is worth 30% of the total A level course.

Course assessment

A level chemistry is assessed via three written exams, paper one, paper two and paper three, each two hours long.


You will be given details of recommended textbooks at the start of the course. One textbook will be loaned to you by the library for the whole year. Laboratory coats and safety glasses will be provided. You will need to buy a scientific calculator and basic stationery such as A4 lined paper, ring binders, dividers and plastic wallets.


Many learners who study A level chemistry will go onto Higher Education. Many science-based degrees such as biomedical science, forensic science, environmental science, pharmacy and other medical sciences, material science and many more require chemistry as an essential part of the entry requirement.