A Level Chemistry
Exam Board: OCR

Why study this subject?

Chemistry is the study of elements, compounds and their behaviour. It is a challenging subject that will build on existing knowledge of chemistry and explains how the world works.  Chemistry is an important subject to choose if students want to go on to study many of the sciences at university including veterinary sciences, medicine and other professions allied to medicine. Chemistry is regarded as a facilitating subject by the Russell Group universities.

How is the course assessed?

The chemistry A Level is a two year course and the content is split into six modules taught over the two years.

  • Module 1—Development of practical skills in chemistry
  • Module 2—Foundations in chemistry
  • Module 3—Periodic table and energy
  • Module 4—Core organic chemistry
  • Module 5—Physical chemistry and transition metals
  • Module 6—Organic chemistry and analysis


There are three written papers taken at the end of the two years:

  • Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry (2 h 15 min, 37 % of A Level, assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  • Synthetic and analytical techniques (2 h 15 min, 37 % of A Level, assesses content from modules
    1, 2, 4 and 6)
  • Unified chemistry (1 h 30 min, 26 % of A Level, assesses content from modules 1-6)

A separate Practical Endorsement will be assessed by teachers throughout the course. If students pass, then this will be reported on their certificate.

Where can this subject lead?

Students who study A Level Chemistry often go on to study science at degree level at university. An A Level in Chemistry shows an aptitude for problem solving and handling numbers. These are skills that many courses and professions are looking for. Chemistry is often an essential subject for healthcare professions such as a doctor, dentist, veterinary and pharmacist.