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Chemistry A Level at Ralph Thoresby School

Course description

How is aspirin made? Why is the ozone layer being depleted? Why do anticancer drugs have adverse effects? A-Level Chemistry addresses some of the questions key to areas as diverse as medicine, the environment and forensic analysis. The course requires a high level of analytical and mathematical skill, as well as the ability to work logically and methodically to explain how and why chemical phenomena occur.

Course content

The study of Chemistry at A-Level is split into 3 broad themes; physical, organic and inorganic.

Students will begin Year 12 by developing their appreciation of physical chemistry topics familiar from GCSE, including atomic structure, bonding and chemical calculations. By the end of Y13, knowledge of this strand of chemistry will have extended into understanding the fundamental laws of kinetics, thermodynamics and equilibria which underpin all chemical processes.

Periodicity and the properties of the known chemical elements are at the core of inorganic chemistry. Students look at issues such as why only some compounds dissolve in water, how certain substances act as catalysts for other chemical reactions and what happens for colours to arise in different substances.

Organic chemistry, fundamentally the study of carbon and its covalent compounds, covers substances as diverse as DNA, alcohols and biofuels. The mechanisms of a range of reactions are studied in detail, as are analytical techniques used by chemists in the study and identifications of organic molecules.

Entry requirements

BB+ in two sciences and 6+ GCSE Maths 


The course is linear and therefore assessed by 100% exam at the end of Y13:

Paper 1 Paper 2 Paper 3

What’s assessed Inorganic Chemistry Relevant Physical Chemistry topics Relevant practical skills Organic Chemistry Relevant Physical Chemistry topics Relevant practical skills Any content Any practical skills

How it’s assessed Written exam – 2 hours 105 marks 35% of A-Level Written exam – 2 hours 105 marks 35% of A-Level Written exam – 2 hours 90 marks 30% of A-Level

Questions 105 marks of long and short answer questions 105 marks of long and short answer questions 40 marks of questions on practical techniques and data analysis 20 marks of questions testing across the specification 30 marks of multiple choice questions


A separate endorsement of practical skills is taken alongside the A-Level. This will be assessed by teachers and is based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams. Students will build a portfolio of evidence covering the 12 required practical tasks, and be awarded a pass/fail grade as a separately reported result.


Financial information


Further information

For further information see Miss Head OR e-mail 

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 28 October 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Web url:

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