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Chemistry A Level at Shirley High School Performing Arts College

Course description

Chemistry A – a content-led approach. A flexible approach where the specification is divided into topics, each covering different key concepts of chemistry. Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and they’re assessed both through written papers and, for A level only, the Practical Endorsement.

OCR’s A Level ‘Chemistry A’ specification aims to encourage learners to:

  • develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other
  • develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods
  • develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills
  • develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
  • understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society (as exemplified in ‘How Science Works’)

Course content

Content is split into six teaching modules:

  • 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 elements
  • Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis

Entry requirements

When qualifying to study A level subjects we will accept a ‘5’ as the equivalent grade for the new GCSE 1-9 measure for English and Maths. Most A level courses require a ‘B’ which is the equivalent of a ‘6’. BTEC Level 2 qualifications will only be counted in place of one GCSE subject. This is because they are not considered to have the required breadth of study necessary for the demands of a varied combination of A level subjects.


Component 01 assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5.
Component 02 assesses content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6.
Component 03 assesses content from all modules (1 to 6).

Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry (01):

  • 100 marks
  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Written paper
  • 37% of total A level

Synthesis and analytical techniques (02):

  • 100 marks
  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Written paper
  • 37% of total A level

Unified chemistry (03):

  • 70 marks
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Written paper
  • 26% of total A Level

Practical Endorsement in Chemistry (04):

  • Non-exam assessment
  • Reported separately

Future opportunities

There are numerous educational opportunities and career paths. Some of these include medicine, environmental science, engineering, toxicology, developing consumer products, pharmaceuticals and even software development.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Shirley High School Performing Arts College directly.

Last updated date: 21 November 2017
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