A level chemistry attempts to answer the big question ‘what is the world made of?’ and it’s the search for this answer that makes this subject so fascinating.

From investigating how one substance can be changed drastically into another to researching a new wonder drug to save millions of lives, the opportunities that chemistry provides are endless. Chemistry is sometimes known as the “central science” because it helps to connect physical sciences, like maths and physics, with applied sciences such as biology, medicine and engineering.


A level chemistry

Awarding body AQA
Year 12

Bonding – how chemicals react together and stay together.

Kinetics and energetics – why chemicals react together and predict whether they will.

Amount of substance – how much of a chemical will react and how much will we produce.

Organic chemistry – an introduction to the chemistry of carbon.

Year 13

Acids and pH – calculating the pH of solutions.

Electrochemistry – how to make electricity from chemical reactions.

Thermodynamics – feasibility of a chemical reaction.

Organic – exploring different organic ‘families’ of compounds and their reactions and uses.

Practicals are essential in science and there will be a series of required practicals to complete throughout the course.


Three written examinations at the end of Year 13. At least 15% of the written papers will assess knowledge and understanding of practical skills and 20% of the papers will assess mathematical skills.

Practical endorsement – students will complete a minimum of 12 practical activities to demonstrate practical competence.

Why study chemistry?

Chemistry is of particular value to those hoping to pursue careers in medicine, dentistry, nursing and the health professions, scientific research, veterinary sciences, pharmacy, engineering, pharmaceuticals and teaching.