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A-level Chemistry

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs 9-4 or equivalent, including at least 5-5 in GCSE Combined Science or 5 in GCSE Pure Chemistry

Exam Board

OCR Syllabus A

Content relating to the subject qualification

Year 12 (AS):

Module 1 – Practical Skills in a written examination– Planning, Implementing, Analysis and Evaluation.

Module 2 – Foundations in Chemistry – Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations, Amount of substance, Acid-base and redox reactions, Electrons, bonding and structure.

Module 3 – Periodic Table and energy – The periodic table and periodicity, Group 2 and the halogens, Qualitative analysis, Enthalpy changes, Reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative).

Module 4 – Core organic chemistry – Basic concepts, Hydrocarbons, Alcohols and haloalkanes, Organic synthesis, Analytical techniques (MS and IR).

Year 13 (to complete the A level):

Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements – Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative), pH and buffers, Enthalpy, entropy and free energy, Redox and electrode potentials, Transition elements.

Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis – Aromatic compounds, Carbonyl compounds, Carboxylic acids and esters, Nitrogen compounds, Polymers, Organic synthesis, Chromatography and spectroscopy (NMR).

Assessment of the qualification

If students do NOT progress onto the full A level course then…

H032/01 – Breadth in chemistry (Modules 1-4)

70 marks in 1 hour 30 minutes = 50% of AS level

H032/02 – Depth in chemistry (Modules 1-4)

70 marks in 1 hour 30 minutes = 50% of AS level

(15% of the marks overall will be from questions which assess the four practical skills)


For students doing the full 2 year A level course then….

H432/01 – Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry (Modules 1,2,3,5)

100 marks in 2 hours 15 minutes = 37% of A level

H432/02 – Synthesis and analytical techniques (Modules 1,2,4,6)

100 marks in 2 hours 15 minutes = 37% of A level

H432/03 – Unified chemistry (Modules 1-6)

70 marks in 1 hour 30 minutes = 26% of A level

H432/04 - 12 PAG tasks are internally assessed to gain a Practical Endorsement.

Career Pathways

Chemistry makes our world more colourful, more efficient, more reliable and safer. Pharmaceuticals, synthetic fabrics, dissolving stitches and brake fluid are all chemical products.

Chemistry is essential for students who wish to study medicine and related subjects. Other careers linked to chemistry include – Forensics, Environmental Science, Healthcare, Nursing, Pharmacology, Clinical biochemistry, Chemical engineering, Toxicology, Research scientist, Teacher, Ocean scientist.

There are many science degrees available at university from pure chemistry to joint honours such as Ocean Science (chemistry with geography) or Archaeological chemistry (chemistry with history).


Local links with STEM and Pfizer involve Year 12 and 13 chemists in events at least once a year.

Year 12 and 13 chemists help with KS3 and KS4 STEM activities such as Global experiments and trips.