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Exam Board:      AQA


The core value of chemistry is to ensure that learning is enjoyable and enhances a student’s enthusiasm for Chemistry. The course follows on from the year 11 Additional Science Specifications and many of the topics will be very familiar. Consequently, the course is suitable for both science dual award and single science GCSE students. Chemistry is a practical subject and it is a good introduction to some of the practical skills needed in a range of careers, such as medicine and forensic science areas. Coursework in AS or A2 chemistry has been removed and replaced with learning through experiments/investigations. Practical work becomes a key part of the course and knowledge of this is assessed through examinations (see below).The course does involve a significant amount of chemical calculations and consequently is only suited to students that enjoy problem solving and mathematics. The draft specifications indicate that 20 % of all content involves mathematic key skills. Chemistry is a study of the modern world and it builds upon concepts encountered in ‘How Science Works’ and this ensures relevance of contemporary issues. These areas overlap with many other A level courses such as, Physics, Environmental Science and Geography. Studying chemistry at AS and A2 level needs a disciplined, logical and flexible mind. It is academically challenging and consequentially requires a highly committed attitude to studies .The hard work needed rewards a student with a selection of highly desirable degrees and well paid careers.

Course Entry Requirement



Chemistry GCSE

Minimum B grade

Science GCSE

Minimum BB grade in chemistry component


Minimum B grade


Minimum C grade

Average GCSE Point Score

Ideally 45 +


AS Teaching Units, Assessment Method and Weighting

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all the AS exams at the end of their AS course and all the A-level exams at the end of their A-level course. An AS is a standalone qualification.  You choose AS level or A2 level (A level). Grades from year 12 AS cannot be used in A2 level (A level) examinations. Both courses have no coursework.

Subject content

3.1 Physical chemistry

  • 3.1.1 Atomic structure
  • 3.1.2 Amount of substance
  • 3.1.3 Bonding
  • 3.1.4 Energetics
  • 3.1.5 Kinetics
  • 3.1.6 Chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier's principle
  • 3.1.7 Oxidation, reduction and redox equations

3.2 Inorganic chemistry

  • 3.2.1 Periodicity
  • 3.2.2 Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
  • 3.2.3 Group 7(17), the halogens

3.3 Organic chemistry

  • 3.3.1 Introduction to organic chemistry
  • 3.3.2 Alkanes
  • 3.3.3 Halogenoalkanes
  • 3.3.4 Alkenes
  • 3.3.5 Alcohols
  • 3.3.6 Organic analysis

Assessments AS level

Paper 1

What's assessed

  • Relevant physical chemistry topics (sections 3.1.1 to 3.1.4, 3.1.6 and 3.1.7)
  • Inorganic chemistry (section 3.2)
  • Relevant practical skills


  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of the AS

Paper 2

What's assessed

  • Relevant physical chemistry topics (sections 3.1.2 to 3.1.6)
  • Organic chemistry (section 3.3)
  • Relevant practical skills


  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of the AS


65 marks of short and long answer questions

15 marks of multiple choice questions

Details about A2 level (A level) are in draft form and available from the AQA website.

Complementary Subjects to study at AS

Physics, Mathematics, Biology, Environmental Science and Geography.

Where are they now?

Perminder Hayer              Birmingham University                Chemistry

Narissa Corbett                 Keele University                                 Pharmacy

Dilawar Khan                    Wolverhampton University         Pharmacy

Mohit Verma                      Anglia Ruskin University               Optometry

Reece King                           Bristol University                               Aerospace Engineering

Rowan Bancroft               Manchester University                   Biomedical Sciences

Imani Delain                      Nottingham T. University              Biomedical Sciences

Teveil Walker                     Coventry University                          Geography

Kanica Sabharwal           Kingston University                         Civil Engineering

Joshua Wellings               Staffordshire University                 Biology

Samman Nasseri             Birmingham City University         Electronic Engineering


Career Pathways

Degree in Chemistry, Bio-Chemistry or Chemical Engineering.

Careers and Degrees in Medicine, Veterinary Sciences, Pharmacy, Optometry, Dentistry, Forensic Science, Environmental Science and many others.


Further Information

If you require further information on any aspect of the course you should contact any of the following: Mr C. Smith (room 110), Ms P. Grewal (room 112), and Mr S Goode (room 41).

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