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Chemistry A level at St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College

Course description

Chemistry is the study of the properties and reactions of materials. It is sometimes called a central science, because it links the other sciences to each other, such as biology, physics, geology and environmental science.

Chemistry is a challenging but rewarding subject at A level. It is also one of the ‘facilitating’ subjects for university entry, which will open a wide range of options for progression to degree level. A level Chemistry will build on the ideas you have already developed at GCSE about structure, bonding and properties of materials.

Chemistry is taught through problem-solving activities that will develop your analytical and evaluative skills. Most Chemistry students progress onto a science degree with a substantial amount of chemistry content.

Course content

The course content is divided into Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.  Practical skills are developed and assessed across all these Chemistry areas and you can expect to complete one practical activity per week, on average.  Students use lab books to keep record of their practical work.  The lab- book constitutes part of the evidence that counts towards your practical endorsement at the end of the two years. 

Mathematical and literacy skills are integral to the delivery of the course and will be developed over the course.

Entry requirements

Within the general requirement of 6 C’s at GCSE, for A Level Chemistry you will need

  • An average GCSE score of 5.6 or more (where C=5, B=6, A=7, etc)
  • BB in Double Science or Triple Science / B in Chemistry
  • B in Maths
  • C in English


At the end of two years you will sit three exam papers:

Paper1: (120mins) Weighting: 35%

  • Physical and Inorganic Chemistry

Paper 2: (120mins) Weighting: 35%

  • Physical and Organic Chemistry

Paper 3: (120mins) Weighting: 30%

  • Synoptic

Students who demonstrate competency with a range of practical skills and techniques, will gain a practical endorsement. There is a minimum of 12 practical tasks that contribute to the assessment of practical skills over the 2 year course.

Financial information

Use of a scientific calculator might be helpful.

Students must provide, and use, a hard backed course folder to compile notes and homework activities

Future opportunities

Chemistry offer the opportunity to learn by the development of transferable skills…skills that can be used in many other disciplines.  Our students generally progress onto a wealth of scientific based careers. Chemistry has strong links with biology so many aspire to the field of medicine through a variety of routes; pharmacy is very popular, as is the biomedical sciences. With those of a more mathematical background chemical engineering has proved a very popular choice at university. Examples of progression are:

  • Medicine/Biomedical Sciences                                   
  • Chemical Engineering    
  • Pharmacy                                                                    
  • Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry                                                                
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Nutritional Science                                                       
  • Nursing

It is a testimony to the skills developed at A level chemistry that past students who return to speak at college always reinforce the support that this has provided in their university studies and beyond.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 12 October 2016
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