What Will I Study?

How Will I be Assessed?

What Next?

Why Study Chemistry?

Suggested Reading

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A Level

Examination Board



What Do I Need To Study This Course?

6+ Chemistry or 7+ Double Science and 6+ Mathematics.

Please note – if you are opting to study Chemistry and not opting to study A Level Mathematics then we recommend taking Level 3 Core Maths as your 4th option, rather than an EPQ or directed study.

What Will I Study?

Horsforth School Chemistry Department aims to engage students with stretching and challenging lessons where the focus is on student learning and enjoyment, as well as academic progress. You will study familiar topics such as atomic structure, bonding and mole calculations, in more details, and some new topics such as buffers, enthalpy, entropy and free energy, and electrode potentials. You will build on your understanding of organic molecules from GCSE to study new functional groups, and molecules such as benzene, and soon be able to construct your own synthesis pathways. Exciting practical opportunities have been embedded throughout the Chemistry A Level. You will get your own lab book to record your observations and data to help you achieve the Practical Endorsement.

Chemistry A Level results at Horsforth School are consistently above the National average (frequently > 40% A*/A). It is one of the most popular A Level courses at Horsforth, with 3 Y12 classes running per year.

How Will I Be Assessed?

You will take 3 papers for the A Level course at the end of Year 13. We follow the new OCR Chemistry A specification.

Paper 1 “Periodic Table, Elements and Physical Chemistry” 2hr 15min.
Paper 2 “Synthesis and Analytical Techniques” 2hr 15min.
Paper 3 “Unified Chemistry” 1hr 30min.

The CPAC “Practical Endorsement” is internally assessed.

What Next?

Continuing your education in chemistry opens up a wide range of career options such as; Academic research, Clinical science, Forensics, Nanotechnology, Pharmacology, and environmental Science. Chemistry A Level is a requirement for certain courses such as Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry. Your A Level Chemistry skills will also make you highly employable for roles in forensics, ecology, teaching law and food science. By choosing a career in chemistry you could help create the next big break throughs to help future generations – we recommend having a go at the careers in Chemistry interactive quiz at

Suggested Reading List

  • Chemistry for Breakfast: The Amazing Science of Everyday Life Hardcover 2021 by Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim
  • The Science of Everyday Life: Why Teapots Dribble, Toast Burns and Light Bulbs Shine 2018 by Marty Jopson
  • Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements Paperback 2012 by Hugh Aldersey-Williams
  • The Disappearing Spoon…and other true tales from the Periodic Table 2011 by Sam Kean
  • Bad Science Paperback 2009 by Ben Goldacre
  • Calculations in AS / A Level Chemistry Paperback 2000 by Jim Clark
Why Study Chemistry?