Chemistry A Level

Course Description

Are you interested in developing cutting edge medicines, sustainable biofuel technologies, fuels of the future or state of the art materials? If so, then Chemistry is the A Level for you. It is a fascinating subject which teaches you to develop a wide range of skills, think logically, solve problems and work in an organised manner. Chemists are involved in activities such as developing sustainable biofuel technologies and improving medicines to treat serious illnesses like cancer.

Entry Requirements

Students will be expected to have at least two GCSEs at grade 6, English Language at grade 5 and the remainder no less than grade 4. If you have studied Double Award or Combined Science, you will be expected to have a double grade 6 in Science and grade 6 in Mathematics (higher grade tier). If you have 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 are advised to combine Chemistry with Biology if pursuing a career in medicine or biomedical sciences.

Course Content

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 year course.

Enrichment and Work Experience

There is an opportunity 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 need to 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 on independent learning. This will include: homework, reading, research, and revision for this subject.

Links with other subjects:
Chemistry links well with Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Geography.

Future Career Opportunities

Chemistry is an essential subject for Medicine, Veterinary medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy. It is desirable for most scientific and technological careers ranging from the biosciences, to material and geological sciences. You may be interested in future careers where you develop new medicines, protect the environment or invent new products. Some students use the numerical and analytical skills they have developed whilst studying chemistry to follow careers in accountancy or management consultancy. You’ll also find that Chemistry can open up opportunities you didn’t know existed!

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.