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Chemistry is one of the most challenging subjects that you can study at A level. To succeed, you need to have a highly inquisitive mind, strong mathematical skills, a powerful imagination and a logical approach to problem solving. In return, you will gain training in a discipline at the forefront of modern technology and you’ll leave with a qualification in one of the subjects most sought after by employers and universities.

Chemistry is considered essential for medical courses and it is considered as an advantage for a great many more courses. You will learn theory and develop practical skills throughout the course. Your work in class will be supported by practice questions completed at home and revision classes as examinations approach.

The core content includes

1. Development of Practical Skills

2. Foundations in Chemistry

3. Periodic Table and Energy

4. Core Organic Chemistry

5. Physical Chemistry and Transition Elements

6. Organic Chemistry and Analysis

The OCR course (Chemistry A) is linear. To achieve the full A level all exams will be completed in Year 13. A stand-alone AS is available at the end of Year 12, examining content from modules 1-4.

Entry Requirements

Students are expected to have gained minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade 5 and above and at least a grade 6 in GCSE Chemistry or in combined Science. You will normally need a grade 6 in Mathematics, due to the relatively high mathematical content.

Recommended support materials and revision guides

At the start of the course students will be provided with the course textbook. In addition to this, students are encouraged to purchase a revision guide such as the CGP guide written specifically for the OCR Chemistry A course.

Examination arrangements and weightings

Paper 1 written exam – 2 hours – 37 %

Paper 2 written exam – 2 hours – 37 %

Paper 3 written exam – 1 hours – 26 %

During the course, you will complete a number of experiments, which will contribute towards a practical endorsement recognised by universities, in

addition to your final A Level grade. Students may sit a stand-alone AS level at the end of Year 12, by sitting:

Paper 1 written exam – 1 hours – 50%

Paper 2 written exam – 1 hours – 50%


Chemists are highly sought after in a wide variety of careers. They receive, on average, higher salaries than graduates from other disciplines. Just some of the career paths open to you are medicine, dentistry, chemical engineering, pharmacy, management, finance and scientific research.

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