Chemistry AS/A Level

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Chemistry AS/A Level


The AS level course in Chemistry takes one year to complete, starting in September and finishing at the end of June. Students return for a further full academic year to complete the A2 part of the course, which results in the award of A level Chemistry.


The course is divided into a variety of chemical topics, each containing different key concepts in chemistry. Once you have learnt the key features of a particular topic, you go on to consider the applications it has to everyday life.


You study three mandatory units at AS Level
Atoms, Bonds and Groups

Atoms and Reactions - Atomic structure and quantitative chemistry
Electrons, Bonding and Structure - The chemical ideas which underpin the study of inorganic chemistry
The Periodic Table - Application of chemical ideas to study further inorganic chemistry

Chains, Energy and Resources
Basic Concepts and Hydrocarbons - Foundations and key principles for the study of organic chemistry;
Alcohols, Halogenoalkanes and Analysis - Two further aspects of organic chemistry, plus analytical techniques;
Energy  - Key ideas in physical chemistry: energy changes, rates & equilibrium;
Resources - ‘Green Chemistry’ and its role in the environment & reducing pollution;

Practical Skills in Chemistry 1
AS internal assessment of your practical skills

Rings, Polymers and Analysis
Rings, Acids and Amines - How organic chemistry shapes the natural world and provides
Polymers and synthesis - Important materials such as medicines and polymers
Analysis - Use of analytical techniques in organic and forensic analysis.

Equilibria, Energetics and Elements
Rates, Equilibrium and pH  - The quantitative and graphical approach to reaction rates and equilibria
Energy - Ways in which scientists are working to provide cleaner and more efficient energy
Transition Elements - A deeper understanding of selected chemical elements and further study of the periodic table

Practical Skills in Chemistry 2
A2 internal assessment of your practical skills

Functional Skills

Functional Skills are a compulsory part of all Sixth Form Centre courses.  Students set targets to improve their skills, and gain qualifications, in English, Maths and/or IT. The Functional Skills and levels taken are based on initial assessment and previous GCSE results.  There is a particular emphasis on skills required for Science. Students build up a folder of evidence from their vocational work and may be required to sit one or more tests.

Teaching Methods

You will engage in a variety of learning activities during your study of AS and A level Chemistry, including individual practical work, small group exercises, on-line research and presentation, whole-class teaching and peer assessment. In addition to scheduled lessons, seminar-based workshops take place on a weekly basis, where you can develop and extend your understanding and receive extra support.


AS and A level Chemistry are assessed via a mixture of exams and externally-assessed practical skills.

The assessment methods for the modules you will study are:

Atoms, Bonds and Groups - 1 hour written exam
Chains, Energy and Resources - 1 hour 45 minutes written exam
Practical Skills in Chemistry 1 - Assessed via externally-set practical exercises
Rings, Polymers and Analysis - 1 hour written exam
Equilibria, Energetics and Elements - 1 hour 45 minutes written exam
Practical Skills in Chemistry 2 - Assessed via externally-set practical exercises

Qualification Gained

AS level Chemistry may be awarded on successful completion of the first year of study.

A level Chemistry is awarded on successful completion and achievement of AS level Chemistry, plus successful completion and achievement of the A2 year.

Opportunities for Progression

There are many opportunities open to you if you have an A level in Chemistry, such as teaching; pharmacy and pharmacology; analytical chemistry; working in industry; health, medicine and the life sciences; earth sciences; materials technology and agriculture, horticulture and animals. For all of these, you need to take another relevant higher level qualification such as a degree, HND or foundation degree, depending on the career’s entry requirements. Of course, higher education is not for everyone, so if you don’t progress to higher education you will find employers will favour the many transferable skills you will have acquired during your study of A level Chemistry.

Entry Requirements

AS level Chemistry requires at least 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, which must include grades BB in double award science (or grade B in GCSE Chemistry), C in maths and C in English.


Anyone aged 24 or over may apply for a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan.  The loans are designed to help you pay your tuition fees and are available to all UK nationals* studying a publicly funded Level 3 or Level 4 Course.  It’s easy to apply, your household income isn’t taken into account and there’s no credit check. You won’t have to pay anything back until your income is over £21,000 a year. If your loan is for an Access to Higher Education programme and you progress to complete a Higher Education programme, you will not have to pay back your 24+ loan.

Read more on 24+ Adult Learning Loans

*Resident in the UK for three years prior to the start of the course. Enquire for further eligibility

For Further Information

Please contact the Advice Zone on 0121 477 1300, call in or email [email protected]


(SF013) 03/10

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