A Level Chemistry

Introduction - why choose this subject?

The A Level Chemistry course covers a wide variety of scientific concepts such as the structure of the atom and bonding, the interaction of matter and energy, how to control reactions; patterns in the Periodic Table; and understanding carbon-based molecules (organic chemistry).


Chemistry underpins everything in our modern lifestyle. For example, it is chemistry that enables us to convert crude oil into petrol, plastics and fibres. Chemists invented Nylon, Terylene, Lycra and other artificial fibres, plastics and synthetic rubbers; chemists make fertilisers; medicines that help to fight disease, pain and disability; chemists help to make sewage harmless and water pure; they also analyse and monitor the atmosphere and the sea for pollutants. There are few things that we use which have not at some stage been made, processed or monitored by chemists. The chemical and pharmaceutical industries are two of the largest employers in the manufacturing industries. Chemists are also employed in related areas such as biotechnology and electronics, as well as many other areas. It is also a crucial A Level for gaining access to Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science. Employers and universities recognise the value of training in logical thought, numerical and communications skills and the general science education that an A Level in Chemistry provides.

How is the course assessed?

Chemistry A Level is 100% exam based


Year 1

  • Physical Chemistry - This module explores the fundamental principles that form the basis of Chemistry. Including atomic structure, bonding and energetics. This content should engage the intellectual curiosity of students.
  • Inorganic Chemistry - This unit looks in detail at the Periodic Table, looking in detail at the trends we see as we go along the periods of the table as well as down the groups.
  • Organic Chemistry - This module introduces the idea of organic (carbon based) chemistry looking into the reaction of alkanes and alkenes which have been previously met at GCSE as well as introducing synthetic routes of alkanes and halogenoalkanes.
  • Practicals - There are 6 compulsory practicals to be completed in Year 1, the skills developed in these will be questioned on both exam papers. These include titration, calorimetry and organic tests.

Year 2

  • Physical Chemistry - This unit develops the concepts of physical chemistry introduced in year 1, extending the ideas of energetics and equilibria to introduce the idea of disorder and entropy, as well as introducing acid-base calculations and the electrochemical cell including how this could be used to power our vehicles in the coming years.
  • Inorganic Chemistry – This unit further extends the content met in year 1 with further trends in the periodic table studied, as well as the introducing of the fascinating chemistry of the transition metals.
  • Organic Chemistry - This unit really enhances the knowledge gained in Year 1 with numerous synthetic routes being discovered for the production of amines, polymers and carbonyl compounds. There is also an introduction to the captivating chemistry of the Benzene ring. This leads into a detailed study of the identification of organic molecules.
  • Practicals - There are a further 6 compulsory practicals to be completed; the skills developed in these will be questioned on all three exams. These include preparation of organic compounds, thin layer chromatography and transition metal reactions.


You will need a calculator and 2 lever arch folders.


The course textbook (compulsory buy) is:

AQA Chemistry: A level Author Ted Lister and Author Janet Renshaw. Publisher: Oxford ISBN: 978-0-19-835182-5. This textbook is endorsed by the AQA and has hints and tips from the board on each page.


Recommended revision guides (non-compulsory):

A-Level Chemistry: AQA Year 1 & 2 Complete Revision & Practice with Online Edition. ISBN: 9781789080292

A-Level Chemistry: AQA Year 1 & 2 Exam Practice Workbook - includes Answers. ISBN: 9781782949138

Homework and learning outside of the classroom

  • Students will attend university to complete at least one required practical.
  • There are opportunities to work with final year university students in lessons (and at university).
  • MedSoc runs to prepare students for Medicine and Dentistry.
  • Personal Development has opportunities to prepare for science related careers.

Homework will involve past paper questions, Seneca work, practice questions, and preparation and research around required practicals

KS3 Science

KS4 Science

KS5 Science

Allerton High School
King Lane, Leeds
West Yorkshire LS17 7AG
ssat ssat Leading Edge Healthy Schools Ofsted