A Level Chemistry

Name of course

A Level Chemistry

Examining board

AQA (7405)

Link to specification More information about the course can be found from the exam board website here

Course Entry Requirements


To study Chemistry at A Level you must have achieved at least:

  • a Grade 6 in Chemistry or Combined Science Grades 6,6 or higher


To study 2 or more Sciences (Chemistry/Biology/Physics) you must have Grade 7s in those subjects and combined science pupils will need Grade 7-7 or higher. 

Why study Chemistry?



From the moment you are born, and throughout your life, you are surrounded by chemistry – the air you breathe, the food you eat and the clothes you wear – they’re all chemistry. Chemistry is the study of substances; what they are made of, how they interact with each other and the role they play in living things. Whether you want to care for penguin colonies in Antarctica or work in a dynamic business environment, chemistry can help you achieve your goals. From research in space, to the depths of the oceans, chemistry helps you understand the world around you and opens up lots of career opportunities. A chemistry qualification can take you almost anywhere.

As a chemist you could:

  • Make medicines to fight cancer
  • Develop exciting new ice cream flavours
  • Create new make-up and hair products
  • Design marketing campaigns
  • Make new materials for faster computers and more complex mobile phones
  • Protect the environment

There are lots of interesting and rewarding science-based jobs in the lab, outdoors and in other areas you might not have thought of, such as science journalism, patent law and publishing. The skills you develop while studying chemistry mean that you can do a whole range of other jobs as well, such as management, sales and marketing, ICT and finance.

Course Content


Chemistry is split into three areas; Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. You will have two teachers for chemistry who, between them, will teach you every aspect of the course.

The A-Level course allows you to gain an endorsement for the practical tasks you carry out.

The following courses are covered in each of the three areas:

Physical Chemistry

Inorganic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

  • Atomic structure
  • Amount of substance
  • Bonding
  • Energetics
  • Kinetics
  • Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc
  • Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
  • Thermodynamics (A-level only)
  • Rate equations (A-level only)
  • Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems (A-level only)
  • Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells (A-level only)
  • Acids and bases (A-level only)



  • Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
  • Group 7(17), the halogens
  • Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides (A-level only)
  • Transition metals (A-level only)
  • Reactions of ions in aqueous solution (A-level only)
  • Introduction to organic chemistry
  • Alkanes
  • Halogenoalkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Alcohols
  • Organic analysis
  • Optical isomerism (A-level only)
  • Aldehydes and ketones (A-level only)
  • Carboxylic acids and derivatives (A-level only)
  • Aromatic chemistry (A-level only)
  • Amines (A-level only)
  • Polymers (A-level only)
  • Amino acids, proteins and DNA (A-level only)
  • Organic synthesis (A-level only)
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (A-level only)
  • Chromatography (A-level only)


Where could this course lead to?


When combined with other Science subjects and Mathematics, Chemistry leads to a number of different careers, including: Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Pharmacy, Medicine, Forensic science, Food science, Research and Development for Consumer goods companies, Patent attorney, Science writing, Environmental consultancy, Engineering and PhD research.

Chemistry is highly in demand by universities and employers as it exhibits high levels of logic and analytical skills, hence many people go into the city for banking or finance with their Chemistry qualifications.

Suggested reading and resources


GCSE – A-Level transition

We recommend that you use this to bridge that gap from GCSE to A-Level

ISBN: 978 1 78294 280 1

Maths preparation

  • For any A-Level sciences you take you will need a strong maths foundation.
  • To help, over the summer you need to work through these maths resources which you can find here

What our students say about studying Chemisry


“This is a satisfying subject when you solve a problem.”

“I’ve gained really useful logic skills that will help at university with different courses”

“Chemistry has really skilful and competent teachers.”

“It’s engaging, every lesson is different. There are so many different, interesting things you can do with chemistry, not just science. Choosing Chemistry still keeps your University options open.”

“I enjoy the practical side of chemistry. I find the experiments engaging and interesting and it helps me learn new skills. Chemistry opens doors to a lot of careers.”

One student with an offer to study Chemistry at UCL and Kings “It’s interesting. You get to learn about the other side of how things in the world work. Getting involved in practicals is fun and allows me to be independent.”