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Studying chemistry at A-Level gives an understanding of how matter interacts and the role that elements play in making up our world and beyond.  Studying chemistry at a-level also helps students see the relevance of science beyond the laboratory and develop their analytical, evaluative and synoptic skills.  A further appreciation of how science works is also developed to help students make informed decision on issued such as climate change.

A successful student in chemistry has to be competent in many skills including practical, mathematics conceptualising ideas.  It is therefore a highly regarded A level by both Universities and employers.


Please click here for the specification and past papers, teaching materials, and vocabulary lists etc, supplied by Edexcel.

Subject Content

AS and first year of A-level

Second year of A-level

Atomic structure and the periodic table


Organic chemistry introduction, alkane, alkenes and alcohols

Organic chemistry including chirality, carbonyl compounds and carboxylic acids

Bonding and structure

Organic chemistry including arenes, nitrogen containing compounds and synthesis

Redox chemistry and oxidation numbers

Redox chemistry and electrochemistry

Inorganic chemistry and the periodic table

Transition metals

Equilibria introduction

Equilibria quantification

Formulae, equations and amount of substance

Acid-base Equilibria

Modern analytical techniques including mass spec and IR

Modern analytic techniques including further mass spec, NMR and chromatography

Energetics including Hess’ law

Energetics including lattice energy and entropy

Kinetics including rates of reactions

Kinetics including order of reactions

Exam structure

AS and A level Chemistry will be linear qualifications; assessments for each qualification will now take place at the end of each course.  AS will be a stand-alone qualification, meaning it will not form part of students’ A level grades.  However, the content of the AS is included in the A level content, to allow the two qualifications to be co-taught.  There will be no coursework elements in AS and A level Chemistry.  Instead, students will be required to complete a number of core practicals (8 in Y12 and 8 in Y13) which cover specific skills and techniques. Practical skills will now be assessed in two ways: investigative skills, and knowledge and understanding of some core practicals will be assessed in AS and A level exams and contribute to students’ overall grades.  Teacher assessment of students’ competency when completing practical work will count towards the separate Practical Endorsement at A level (this does not contribute to the overall grade but does need to be passed).

Click here to view a  summary of the exams.