Chemistry A level

Course Information

Our Chemistry course can be studied as either an AS level or as a full A level qualification. It provides the basis for a well-rounded understanding of chemistry.

The AS level course covers the fundamental aspects of chemistry, including organic, inorganic and physical chemistry.

If you study for the full A level, you will expand and reinforce your knowledge of these disciplines as well as develop practical skills for the theoretical practical paper.

Chemistry A level

Together these modules will help to develop a knowledge of how chemical processes work; deepening your understanding of topics such as the periodic table, hydrocarbon chemistry and modern analytical techniques.


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Examining board and exams

The Chemistry A level course will prepare you for two Edexcel specifications:

  • AS Chemistry  (Advanced Subsidiary GCE in Chemistry): course code 8CHO
  • A level Chemistry (Advanced GCE in Chemistry): course code 9CHO

The A level course is assessed by three written examinations:

  • Advanced Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (1 hour 45 minutes, 30% of final mark)
  • – Advanced Organic and Physical Chemistry (1 hour 45 minutes, 30% of final mark)
  • – General and Practical Principles in Chemistry (2 hours 30 minutes, 40% of final mark)

Please note that the A level specification lists a number of practical skills to be internally assessed by teachers. The practical endorsement is recorded as a separate pass/fail on your certificate and does not affect your primary mark.  See the section on the practical endorsement for more details.

What can I do with a Chemistry A level?

Chemistry A Level is required for many higher education courses in medicine and healthcare. For example, if you want to become a doctor, a vet, a pharmacist or a nurse, it’s a key subject that will lay the groundwork for all that you’ll need to learn.

However, there’s much more to chemistry than this. Anyone who wants to study or work in biotechnology, research chemistry, environmental science or forensic science will also require this knowledge.

Chemistry also compliments other subjects such as the social sciences, including; archaeology, anthropology, psychology and sociology. If you’re interested in criminal investigation, particularly forensics, a background in chemistry will be useful.

Expertise in chemistry can open up interesting new perspectives on other academic subjects, too, making it a good candidate for a combined degree. As well as the other core sciences like biology and physics, chemistry may be combined with subjects like history, astronomy and climatology.

Of course, chemistry isn’t just an academic discipline – it’s also a highly practical one. Even if you’re not planning on going into higher education yet, a good Chemistry A level will be useful for careers in:

  • Analytical chemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical engineering
  • Healthcare, clinical biochemistry
  • Forensics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Pharmacology
  • Research science
  • Scientific laboratory technician
  • Toxicology

How much does it cost?

Our Chemistry A level course fee is £475 with a £95 deposit, payable in eight instalments of £47.50.

You will receive support from a fully-qualified tutor holding either a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or a degree in education.

This support includes:

  • Marking all assignments for the course
  • Written answers to specific study problems
  • Telephone contact, if required

When you begin this course, you will agree on an examination date or dates with your student adviser. Your support period lasts up to this examination date.

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The specification assumes that you have obtained a grade C or above at (I)GCSE Chemistry or Double Award Science.

Mathematics – 20% of the marks are awarded for using mathematics in a chemical context.  The level corresponds to the higher tier Mathematics GCSE.

The relevant areas of mathematics are covered within the course.

The Practical Endorsement

The Chemistry A level specification lists a number of practical skills to be internally assessed by teachers. This assessment leads to a statement of “practical competency” – simply a pass – which is reported alongside the grade on the final A level certificate. It is not necessary to obtain a statement of practical competency to obtain the qualification

Most of the Oxford Open Learning Trust’s students do not complete the practical competency.  However, if you wish to take the practical competency there are exam centres who are able to provide this service, although at a hefty price. Speak to your student adviser who will be able to provide you with a list of exam centres who can help.

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