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Chemistry A level at Harris Academy Merton

Course description

To complete the full A Level in Chemistry students must complete all six modules and be assessed on all six at the end of two years of study – i.e. in Year 13.  The A Level is no longer formed of ‘AS’ plus ‘A2’.  

However, students can choose to study Chemistry for just one year (modules 1-4) and complete the relevant exams to attain an AS Level in Chemistry.

Course content

Physical Chemistry

In year 12 the content of this module includes atomic structure, amount of substance, bonding, energetics, kinetics, chemical equilibrium and Le Chatelier’s principle.

In year 13 the content of this module includes thermodynamics, rate equations, the equilibrium constant, electrode potentials and electrochemistry. 

Inorganic Chemistry

In year 12 this module includes the study of: periodicity, group 2 alkaline earth metals and group 7 halogens.

In year 13 this module includes the study of: properties of period 3 elements and their oxides, transition metals and reactions of ions in aqueous solutions.

Organic Chemistry

In year 12, students learn about: introduction to organic chemistry, alkanes, halogen alkanes, alkenes, alcohols and organic analysis.

In year 13, students learn about: optical isomerism, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and derivatives, aromatic chemistry, amines, polymers, amino acids, proteins and DNA, organic synthesis, NMR spectroscopy and chromatography. 

Entry requirements

Standard Sixth Form Entry Requirements:

  • To study 4 A levels: must have average GCSE points score of 52+
  • To study 3 A levels: must have 7 A* - C grades in full course GCSE subjects
  • To study 3 A levels/vocational combination: must have 5 A* - C/9 - 4 grades at GCSE or Merit or above in Vocational subjects
  • To study vocational level 3 subjects: 5 A* - C/9 - 4 grades at GCSE or equivalent, with at least a merit/C/4 grade in a relevant vocational qualification or GCSE
  • Extended writing A level subject students will need a combination of at least grades 4 and 5 in English Language and English Literature

Subject specific requirements:

Students need to have studied a minimum of two GCSEs in science, reaching grade B at least in both.  They should attain an overall grade B in their Year 11 GCSE, including grade B on the Chemistry exam paper (thus they must have done the higher tier paper).  

Students also need grade B in English and grade B in Maths.


AS level: 

Students will need to sit two exams, each an hour long.  Inorganic with relevant physical chemistry is assessed in one paper, while organic with relevant physical chemistry is assessed in the second paper. Each paper is worth 50% of AS, containing a mixture of short and long answer questions as well as some multiple choice questions.

A level:

Students will complete three examination papers, each of which is 2 hours in length. Inorganic with relevant physical chemistry is assessed in one paper worth 35%, while organic with relevant physical chemistry is assessed in the second paper worth 35%. Both papers contain a mixture of short and long answer questions. The third paper will assess all practical skills as well as all content; this is referred to as a ‘synoptic’ paper and is worth 30%. The final paper consists of questions on practical techniques and data analysis, content from across the specification and some multiple choice questions.

Future opportunities

An understanding of Chemistry is essential for Medicine, Dentistry, Forensic Science, Pharmacy, Geology and Archaeology.  Chemistry at A Level is the qualification most needed to join a Science based degree course.  The practical skills, experience of data analysis and the ability to express oneself concisely and accurately are useful attributes and help to prepare a young person for a career in a wide variety of fields.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Harris Academy Merton directly.

Last updated date: 09 December 2016
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