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Chemistry (GCE) at Shelley College

Course description

Why study Chemistry?

Chemistry is an exciting and challenging subject which provides students with a remarkable insight into the substances which make up our universe. From the study of particles in an atom to the reactions which sustain life chemistry plays a vital role in preparing students for further study in a broad range of fields. Our students go on to degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, medicine, pharmacy, forensic science, physics, astronomy and law, among many others. Chemistry is recognised to be a challenging A-level but one which is both rewarding and engaging. A-level chemistry teaching at Shelley College is solely by experienced chemistry professionals with chemistry research degrees as well as Masters degrees in the subject. We are proud to have close links with the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Course content



Entry requirements

The aim of our entry criteria policy is to ensure students are taking courses they are well suited to and are able to make progress in. We seek to provide courses well matched to the needs of our students, helping them to follow their chosen progression pathway.

Due to changes in the curriculum set-up for GCSE, AS and A Level which are currently taking place, we have reviewed our entry criteria from 2018/19 onwards and will continue to review this annually until all curriculum changes are effective.

We have also decided that for the 2018/19 entry students, those with a 4 at English or Maths GCSE will be offered the opportunity to resit that subject in order to achieve a Level 5.

Our main College entry requirements are as follows;

Entry Requirements

A minimum of five 4-9 grades at GCSE, including English and Maths (at least to Level 4) from five different subject areas.

Purely vocational pathway require a minimum of four 4-9 grades at GCSE, including English and Maths (at least to Level 4) from four different subject areas.

A BTEC qualification may be counted as equivalent to two GCSE passes if students choose to follow a vocational pathway (i.e, OCR Cambridge National in Sport).


There will be three pathways which students can follow based on an average grade produced from their seven best GCSE results. The calculation being used for this van be seen overleaf.


Average Grade

Programme of study


Average grade of 7 or higher

3 or 4 A Levels


Average grade of 5 to 6.9

3 A Levels or a mixed A Level and Vocational pathway


Average grade of less than 5

Mixed (A Level and Vocational) or Vocational pathway


The method for calculating your average grade and additional subject requirements are within our full entry criteria document which can be found on the Sixth Form section of our website:



Type of assessment: 100% of the assessment is through examination at the end of a two year course.
Paper 1 – 2 hours 105 marks
Physical chemistry 
Inorganic chemistry 
Practical skills
Paper 2 – 2 hours 105 marks
Physical chemistry
Organic chemistry
Practical skills
Paper 3 – 2 hours 90 marks
Any content
Any practical skills
Students must also complete the practical endorsement. This is the assessment of 12 required practicals through which they must securely demonstrate “mastery” of five competencies common to all science examination boards. This does not contribute marks to the final grade but must be completed in order to achieve the A-level. Knowledge of any practical from the 12 required practicals can be examined in any of the three papers.

Future opportunities

Chemistry is a subject which develops a wide variety of skills e.g. practical and manipulative skills, working in groups, developing leadership skills, problem solving, independent learning and presentation skills.


Possible career routes include:

Medicine Veterinary Medicine

Pharmacy Pharmacology

Clinical Sciences Biomedical Sciences

Chemical Engineering Biochemistry


Chemistry is desirable or accepted for:


Forensic science

Material sciences

Food sciences

Petroleum engineering


Atmospheric sciences

Natural sciences

Aerospace materials


Sport science

Material technology

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: 13 October 2017
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