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Chemistry AS/A2 at St John Fisher Catholic High School

Course description

Chemistry is the study of the properties of the materials in the world around us. The chemist looks at and tries to interpret changes in materials, from the apparently simple, such as the burning of hydrogen, to the more complex, such as reactions in the body.  At the same time, the chemist may be interested in energy changes, or how fast a reaction proceeds.  Another important aspect is working out the structure of materials and identifying their constituents.  The chemist employs his or her skills to use both simple and complex analytical techniques to determine the composition of every kind of substance.  Research and development of new materials is a most important part of chemistry.  These new materials include drugs, plastics, rubbers and detergents to name but a few.  These are just some of the things which chemistry involves; look around you and you will see the work of the chemist everywhere.

Course content

The AQA chemistry course builds upon the principles learnt at GCSE as well as introducing new concepts. Candidates will need at least a B grade in Additional Science GCSE or Chemistry GCSE.  They should also have a B grade in maths GCSE. 

Aspects of the three strands of chemistry; physical, organic and inorganic, are studied at AS and then developed further for the A level.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirement is 5 A*-C GCSE or equivalent, including English and usually Maths.  Further information in the Prospectus, available on our website:

Subject specific entry requirement for this subject - B grade or above in GCSE Additional Science.


Students will be assessed by examinations.

At AS there are 2 exams of equal weighting which assess content as well as practical skills.  It is intended that all students will sit these exams at the end of Year 12.

At A level there are 3 exams which again assess content as well as practical skill.

During the 2 years of study students will also be assessed, in the laboratory, on their practical skill and will have the opportunity to achieve a Practical Endorsement in addition to their A level grade.

Further information

Successful study of A levels including Chemistry will open many doors to future careers including chemistry, medicine, pharmacy, biology, chemical engineering, Law. A qualification in Chemistry is highly valued because of the skills that you acquire by following the course. Study of Chemistry has a great emphasis on encouraging logical thinking and improving analytical powers and problem solving ability. It is therefore an excellent subject to train the mind. If you can prove that you can handle the concepts at this level an employer will be impressed.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St John Fisher Catholic High School directly.

Last updated date: 27 November 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 years