Chemistry A Level

About the Course

Chemistry is the study of matter. Chemistry is about understanding the properties of different substances and how these substances can change. Chemistry allows us to predict how substances may alter when the surrounding conditions change or how they may react to form new substances and explains why this happens. Chemists are continually changing matter into new and more useful forms.

Exam Board

At Hall Cross we study the AQA specification. Paper 1: Inorganic & Physical Chemistry (2 hours) Paper 2: Organic & Physical Chemistry (2 hours) Paper 3: Practical & Multiple Choice (2 hours)


Grade 5 English Language, Grade 6 in Maths and Grade 6 in Chemistry, or 6-6 in Combined Science with a 7 in maths

Course Content

The AQA Chemistry course is designed to the highest standards, so teachers, students and their parents can be confident that an AQA award provides an accurate measure of a student's achievements. The assessment structures have been designed to achieve a balance between rigour, reliability and demands on candidates. The course is split into three key disciplines: Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry. Physical Chemistry involves looking at the structure of the atom, the way atoms bond and the impact that the type of bonding has on various physical properties.  The mathematics that define chemical reactions is explores in greater detail.  Concepts like reduction and oxidation reaction, equilibria and mole calculations are areas from the GCSE that are built upon during the course. Inorganic Chemistry considers the repeating patterns of the periodic table looking specifically at the trends going down a group and across period 3.  Complex ion formation and reactions of Group 2 metals and reactions of transition metals and their compounds are studied in Year 13. Organic Chemistry takes further understanding on alkanes, alkenes and alcohols to explore in greater details their structures, nomenclature and physical properties.   Organic reactions are studied in closer details by exploring reaction mechanisms.

Beyond the Classroom

Outside the classroom it is recommended that for every hour of learning completed in lesson, a further hour should be dedicated to private study around the subject. Various stretch and support sessions are on offer during and after school, led by staff and students. High- performing Year 13 students are entered into the Royal Society of Chemistry Olympiad competition every year.  This national competition rigorously tests sixth form students from across the country with successful students being awarded Bronze, Silver and Gold awards and the opportunity to represent the country in the International competition.

Your Future

Each year more students are studying Science subjects as they realise that Science degrees generally lead to higher incomes. More students leave us with grades allowing them to study pure Chemistry or Chemistry based subjects like medical Chemistry or environmental Chemistry at university. If you want to join them then you must study Chemistry at A level, preferably with Mathematics. A level Chemistry is essential if you want to study medicine, veterinary science, dentistry or Biochemistry at university. It is also appreciated by admissions tutors in many other subjects, including law, due to its logical discipline. It is useful if you want to go and study subjects such as Geology, Physical Geography, Engineering or Material Science. Many Chemistry graduates are also recruited by the financial companies in big cities and often with high starting salaries. Studying Chemistry would even help you with the pyrotechnics in Theatre Studies and if you want to train in Art conservation, a knowledge of Chemistry is necessary!