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Luton Sixth Form

Chemistry (A Level)

Why study Chemistry?

Chemistry is the study of what things are made of and how they interact within their environment. Chemistry is often referred to as “the central science” as it overlaps with physics, biology and geology, to name but a few. Look around you! Everything is made of chemicals and so chemists have roles in all sorts of industry. The skills we learn are invaluable in a huge range of careers from accounting to rocket science!


Entry Requirements

In addition to our general entry requirements, you must have: 

  • GCSE English – grade 4 
  • GCSE Maths – grade 6
  • GCSE Science – two grade 6s (if taking Triple Science, must have a 6 in Chemistry)
  • Must have an overall GCSE average of 5.6

The Course

The course looks at atoms (the basic building blocks), how and why they combine, and how the resulting compounds behave in the real world. The whole subject is based upon the results of experiments and so involves the learning of many practical techniques.


Course Activities

Our five experienced teachers use a variety of methods of teaching. Chemistry is a highly theoretical subject and students will gain large amounts of notes to help them revise for exams. Students will be given detailed handouts, be expected to take notes themselves and be encouraged to find information for themselves using books or online resources. Outside the 4.5 hours of lesson time, students will be expected to complete 4.5 hours of independent study time per week. Homework will be set regularly so students may think about the classwork in their own time. Both individual and group work is encouraged throughout the course.

In addition, students can look forward to:

  • Weekly practical chemistry.
  • Tutorial sessions for additional support.
  • Access to a wide variety of books, past papers and IT-based resources.


Career and Progression Opportunities

Chemistry is a popular subject and is highly respected for university entry. The majority of our students move on to Higher Education to study on a wide range of different courses. Apart from degree courses in Chemistry itself, the subject is essential for courses like Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Veterinary Science and Biochemistry. It is extremely useful for other courses
like Physiotherapy, Physics and Biology. Chemistry graduates have a wide range of options open to them. They are sought after by a variety of different employers, although many will go into research in universities or industry. 

Course Structure and Assessment

This is a two-year course. All examinations will be in June of the second year.

Module title and content Assessment Assessment

Module 1: Development of Practical Skills in Chemistry


  • Practical skills assessed in a written examination.

Periodic Table, Elements and Physical Chemistry


Module 2: Foundations in Chemistry


  • Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations.
  • Amount of substance.
  • Acid-base and redox reactions.
  • Electrons, bonding and structure.
  • Two hours, 30 minutes
    examination (100 marks)
  • Assesses content from
    modules 1, 2, 3 and 5.
  • 37% of total A Level.
Module 3: Periodic Table and Energy


  • The periodic table and periodicity.
  • Group 2 and the halogens.
  • Qualitative analysis.
  • Enthalpy changes.
  • Reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative)

Synthesis and Analytical Techniques


  • Two hours, 15 minutes examination (100 marks).
  • Assesses content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6.
  • 37% of total A Level.

Module 4: Core Organic Chemistry


  • Basic concepts.
  • Hydrocarbons.
  • Alcohols and haloalkane.
  • Organic synthesis.
  • Analytical techniques (IR and MS).

Unified Chemistry


  • One hour, 30 minutes examination (70 marks).
  • Assesses content from modules 1-6.
  • 26% of total A Level.

Module 5: Physical Chemistry and Transition Elements


  • Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative).
  • pH and buffers.
  • Enthalpy, entropy and free energy.
  • Redox and electrode potentials.
  • Transition elements.


Module 6: Organic Chemistry and Analysis


  • Aromatic compounds.
  • Carbonyl compounds.
  • Carboxylic acids and esters.
  • Nitrogen compounds.
  • Polymers.
  • Organic synthesis.
  • Chromatography and spectroscopy (NMR).




  • Endorsement in Chemistry
  • Non-examination assessment.
  • Separate to the main A Level.

 Additional Information

Examination Board: OCR (A) You will be required to enrol on Level 3 Mathematical Studies if you are not studying A level Mathematics You will be required to attend a transition day in the summer term and complete work over the summer to hand in at enrolment. Without this, you may not be able to take your place on the course.



Case Study