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Chemistry A-Level at Wales High School and Business and Enterprise College with Applied Learning

Course description

Course Overview

A-Level Chemistry is now a two year linear course culminating in terminal examinations.  The practical side of chemistry is no longer assessed through coursework, but instead in exam questions within the three A2 papers.  Practical activities are still an integral part of the course, and students can will work towards gaining a Practical Endorsement of their skills.

We do not enter students for the AS examinations at the end of Y12, instead choosing to internally assess their progress at that stage of their education.  The result of this internal assessment is rigorously checked against national standards and the grade that students attain is comparable to the AS qualification.

Examination Board

The Examination Board for this course is AQA.

Where can this lead?

A-Level Chemistry is highly regarded by both universities and potential employers.  It can lead to careers in a wide range of fields, including, but not limited to: Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Biomedical Sciences, Research, Engineering, Law, Forensics and many more. Taking Chemistry at A-Level certainly won’t limit your options!

Course Breakdown - Lower Sixth

AS Chemistry is divided into Physical, Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, and includes topics such as Atomic Structure, Bonding, Calculations, Energetics, Kinetics and Redox Reactions. As well as the examinations, students must undertake 6 Assessed Practicals (although this is not the only opportunity for practical work!).

All students are entered into Internal Progress Examinations at the end of Year 12 which entails sitting two exams each of 90 minutes. A total of 140 marks is available across the exams and will comprise both long and short answer questions as well as multiple choice questions. Aspects of practical chemistry will also be examined in these exams.

Any students who attain a Grade U will not continue onto the A2 course. Students that attain Grade E will likely not continue unless there are exceptional mitigating circumstances. In addition, students that are more than one grade away from their A2 target will be placed on contract which increases the scrutiny of their Endeavour log.

Course Breakdown - Upper Sixth

Students continue to build on topics covered in the Lower Sixth alongside new topics such as Acids and Bases, Electrochemistry and Transition Metal Chemistry.  There are three papers at the end of Year 13 which make up the A-Level assessment.

  • Paper 1: 2 hours, 105 marks, 35% of grade
  • Paper 2: 2 hours, 105 marks, 35% of grade
  • Paper 3: 2 hours, 90 marks, 30% of grade (includes some multiple choice questions)

All three exams assess content from both Year 12 and Year 13.

Enrichment Opportunities

Enrichment opportunities in Chemistry include lunchtime and after school support sessions, visiting speakers to discuss STEM-related careers, participation in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s annual Olympiad and University trips to see and use analytical techniques in action.

Entry requirements

Five GCSEs grade 9-5 with a minimum of a grade 7 in GCSE Chemistry and a minimum of a grade 7 in Mathematics.  Students with a grade 6 in GCSE Chemistry may be considered on a case by case basis. Students who studied Trilogy Science at GCSE should have achieved at least a grade 7-7.  Students who are not taking Mathematics at A-Level may be required to take Core Mathematics to support them.

In the case where a student does not meet the entry criteria, we may consider in lieu a student’s average GCSE grade but this should not be relied upon. In any case, acceptance onto the course via this route would result increased scrutiny via a Sixth Form Contract.

Further information

Follow the link to see our Chemistry Student Profiles:

For further information, please contact - Mr D Cooper /

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: 26 October 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: Can be 1 or 2 years