Course Description

Would you like to study a course which gives you an incredible array of opportunities post A Level? Chemistry is central to understanding many key areas of science and offers a vast array of employment and education opportunities. Through studying a range of diverse topics you will develop a range of highly desirable transferable skills. These include problem solving, data analysis, numeracy, logical thinking and working safely in a laboratory environment. Chemistry is an essential A Level for students wishing to pursue a career in medicine.

Entry Requirements

Students will be expected to have at least three GCSEs at grade 6. If you studied Combined Science you will be expected to have a double grade 6 in Science and grade 6 in Mathematics (higher grade tier). If you studied separate sciences, you will be expected to have GCSE grade 6 in Chemistry, grade 6 from Biology or Physics and grade 6 in Mathematics. You will also be expected to have English Language at grade 5 and the remainder no less than grade 5/4.

Features of the Course

You will be assessed on your knowledge of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. Throughout the course, you will build up a portfolio of experimental work to demonstrate the development of your practical skills for which you will receive a separate qualification that will sit alongside your A Level qualification.

You begin by looking at the structure of atoms in detail and how they bond together. A firm foundation will be laid in analysis of amount of substance by means of practical work linked to theory and calculation. In inorganic chemistry, you look at the periodic table, studying groups two and seven and colourful transition metal chemistry in detail. In organic chemistry, you study the chemistry of carbon compounds and how to identify molecules by instrumentation. In physical chemistry, you study thermodynamics, rates of reaction and reversible reactions. All these topics require good mathematical skills, which, along with problem solving skills, are developed on this course.


Chemistry A Level is a linear course with all external exams at the end of the two years. There are 12 practical endorsement assessments which are graded as a pass or unclassified.

Exam Board: OCR

Enrichment and Work Experience

Students are expected to complete a one-week work placement in the Summer term. Students of Chemistry have enjoyed various enrichment activities, including a visiting speaker from Medical projects. Chemistry students have also taken part in an industrial visit and a number of debates on current issues.

Additional Information

Students will bring basic stationery and a calculator to lessons, be punctual, engaged and ready to learn. We also expect you to commit to at least 5 hours per week outside of lesson to be spent on independent learning. This will include: homework, reading, research, and revision for this subject.

Links With Other Subjects

Chemistry links particularly well with A Levels in Biology, Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science and Geography.

Future Career Opportunities

Many students progress to university and become doctors, pharmacists, dentists and forensic scientists. It is also useful for careers in biological sciences, the pharmaceutical industry, analytical chemistry, chemical engineering and geological exploration. Chemistry is an exciting STEM subject that can lead to many career possibilities.

Why study at The Sixth Form Bolton?

The Sixth Form has attractive, well equipped teaching laboratories in which you will have every opportunity to link theory with practice to develop significant practical skills. We offer opportunities in and out of the laboratory to enrich and challenge you. We also have good links with prestigious universities which have allowed our students to experience undergraduate practical work in university laboratories.

Students have the opportunity to attend Operating Theatre Live, partially funded by The Sixth Form and a bespoke STEM event designed to provide independent advice and guidance on a wide range of careers and courses in the scientific and medical fields.

Many science students are also members of the Science Academy and Honours Programme within The Sixth Form that provides extensive opportunities for personal development to success in their applications to university.