Chemistry A Level


Chemistry is ‘a quest for truth’. Ever since the ancient Greeks, scholars have searched for what we are made up of.  The study of Chemistry A' level aims to bring one closer to the answer by stimulating and sustaining your interest in chemistry allowing you to gain an understanding and knowledge of the subject. It also helps you appreciate the interlinking patterns which are a feature of this subject. The course shows the inter-relationship between the development of the subject and its application and value in today’s society.


Course details

What are the entry requirements?

A minimum of five GCSE subjects including grade 6 in either Chemistry or Combined Science and Mathematics grade 6.  


How will I be assessed?

The syllabus in the first year comprises ten topics and in the second year a further 9 topics are covered. Examinations take place at the end of the second year.

There is a separate practical assessment which is teacher assessed.

Paper 1 Paper 2 Paper 3
Advanced Inorganic and Physical Chemistry Advanced Organic and Physical Chemistry General and Practical Principles in Chemistry
Written paper
1hr 45min
Written paper
1hr 45min
Written Paper
2hrs 30min


What extra work can I do?

A thorough knowledge of GCSE Chemistry to the Higher level allows you to progress smoothly onto the course.  It is suggested that you use a GCSE textbook or an Access guide e.g. ‘Mind the Gap’ if you feel that your knowledge is not up to standard.

During the course consulting the up-to-date section in the library and reading periodicals such as Chemistry Review and New Scientist as well as using the Internet.

Extra reading about current developments in Chemistry has proved helpful to students preparing for interview.
Joining the RSC ChemNet provides additional material and support.


What skills will I learn?

Flexible learning packs -these include theoretical information, associated practical exercises and internet links together with examination questions for practice.
Practical work is a major component of the course enabling you to develop a wide variety of skills and understanding of chemical techniques.
Use is made of videos and the Internet to illustrate relevant concepts. 
Computers are used extensively for data-logging, interrogation of databases and in interactive learning programs.
E-learning is being used extensively within the Department.  This consists of externally accessed support materials, additional activities and tutor support.
Godalming Online contains a variety of resources as well as past examination questions and mark schemes.

What is the department like?

We are housed in two large airy well-equipped recently refurbished laboratories.  The labs are fitted with up-to-date visual aids equipment as well as a suite of laptops for use in the lab. 

The staff are enthusiastic and knowledgeable; they are unstinting in their support of students.

There are over 150 students in Chemistry across the two year-groups.  Our results have been consistently above national averages with over 40% of our students gaining A* or A grades.

The teaching is done using a variety of approaches designed to suit different abilities and learning styles. We support students with additional Maths lessons. We aim to stretch those with high academic ability and provide opportunities to address the interests and needs of the highest performing students; All students have the opportunity to take part in the Chemistry Olympiad and Cambridge Chemistry Challenge  

Many of our students take part in the Aim High programme which aims to stretch our most able students and has included visiting speakers, problem solving challenges and a trip to Oxford University In the summer term. In the autumn term we support students sitting the BMAT exam for entry into medicine as well as preparation for interview.

Future Careers and Progression

What are the progression routes for this qualification?

Chemistry is suitable 
for a wide variety of scientific and non-scientific degree courses since it encompasses all the key skill areas; it also encourages imaginative critical and logical thinking for problem solving.  In science, Chemistry plays central role impinging on a wide variety of disciplines.  A level Chemistry is a compulsory course requirement for students intending to study the medical, veterinary or dental sciences, biochemistry and chemistry.  In addition, most biological and environmental courses require a sound A' level pass.  As a subject, it is valued for the analytical powers and the academic rigour of its training and thus it lays a suitable foundation for careers such as law, accountancy and economics where these qualities are valued.


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