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Chemistry A-Level at Deanery High School and Sixth Form College

Course description

Chemistry is the study of the elements and their compounds. In this course we aim to challenge and inspire you to consider questions such as “how do scientists know what is in an atom?”, “how do pharmaceutical companies make painkillers?” and “is it possible to make fuel from corn?” Students are supplied with all necessary learning materials (for both inside and outside the classroom) and lessons will involve a mixture of presentations, problem solving, demonstrations, discussions and practical work. A Chemist is literate, numerate, practical, imaginative and has a view of the big picture of world issues e.g. how to reduce fossil fuel use, climate change issues. Chemists are sought by many employers as they have many desirable skills necessary to succeed in a wide variety of careers.

Course content

We follow the OCR Chemistry A specification. 

At AS level students study 4 modules 1- Development of practical skills in chemistry: Students undertake practical activities and keep an up to date record in their practical file. Students are assessed on skills learned and these will be examined in the written examinations. 2- Foundations in chemistry: This module covers many key ideas and skills in chemistry. These include atoms, compounds, chemical equations and calculation work . It links to titrations – a key practical analytical tool. 3- Periodic table and energy: This module looks at how energy changes are calculated and also allows students to look at key trends in the periodic table. It considers the speed of reactions and those reactions which are reversible. 4- Core organic chemistry: This is one branch of chemistry and this unit enables students to understand why carbon is unique, how to name its compounds and how reactions mechanisms take place. Key analytical techniques are included.

A level students study an additional 2 modules. A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level.This will result in a pass or fail for the practical aspect and a separate award. 5 - Physical chemistry and transition elements: An in-depth look at energy, entropy and free energy- why DO reactions really occur ? This involves calculation work to back up these ideas. Students also study the unique chemistry of the Transition Metals and their broad range of uses- without these we would not have the pigments for paints and ceramics. 6- Organic chemistry and analysis: More families of carbon- based compounds are studied and this links to many medical scenarios- how can we reduce the dosage of a pharmaceutical ? How can we make a pharmaceutical more effective ? Students also have more practical techniques to learn and will make their own aspirin and use these analytical techniques.

Entry requirements

2 x Grade 6 in Science Subjects

GCSE English Language & Maths at Grade 5 or better plus at least 3 additional GCSE at Grade 4 or better



Paper 1

Written Exam 1hour 30 minutes (Breadth in Chemistry) 50% of AS

Paper 2 Written Exam 1hour 30 minutes (Depth in Chemistry) 50% of AS


Paper 1 Written Exam 2 hour 15 minutes (Periodic Table, Elements and Physical Chemistry) 37% of A Level

Paper 2 Written Exam 2 hour 15 minutes (Synthesis and Analytical Techniques) 37% of A Level Paper 3

Written Exam 1 hour 30 minutes (Unified chemistry) 26% of A Level Practical Endorsement- reported separately (Pass or Fail)

Future opportunities

A level Chemistry is an excellent base for many health- related degrees /careers- for example medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, nursing, physiotherapy ,pharmacy etc. This is also true of biological sciences, physics, mathematics , pharmacology and analytical careers. A range of career opportunities include chemical manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries and in areas such as forensics, environmental protection and healthcare. Many chemistry students are sought by law and finance firms as they are appreciated for their all-round skills.

Further information

We have a dedicated and experienced team of teaching staff and also a specialist technical team to aid with practical work. The teaching staff ensure that students are challenged and supplied with resources for work inside the classroom but also independent resources for use in college and at home- these include various text books, an electronic past paper resource and a huge range of revision resources. Students have access to all necessary equipment and chemicals in order to experience all aspects of practical work- be this analytical or synthetic. Class sizes are large enough to ensure an interactive atmosphere but small enough for lots of individual support and guidance.

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: 10 November 2017
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