Chemistry is the branch of science which is concerned with materials of every description, often overlapping both Biology and Physics. Chemists unravel chemical reactions that are responsible for life and they investigate new materials with potentially useful properties.

Throughout the course information is collected by experimentation and underlying principles are explored and developed. If you are resourceful; not afraid of hard work and application to study and enjoy learning by doing, then Chemistry could be for you.

What will I learn?

Areas studied over the two years include:

  • The Periodic Table
  • Formulae and equations
  • Energetics and kinetics
  • Equilibria
  • Organic chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

At Bishop Challoner Catholic College we have excellent laboratory facilities allowing the development of good practical skills by the pupils.

Exam board: Edexcel

Copies of the A Level specification and sample papers can be found using this link: Chemistry Specifications


Recommended Revision Guides

For the final exam in May/June of year 13 there are 5 Student guides that cover the whole course, including a book all about the core practicals. Here is an example of what one of them looks like.




The ISBN numbers of the five books are:

978 1 4718 4333 4  Topics 1-5

9781 4718 4354 9  Topics 6-10

9781 4718 5841 3 Topics 11-14

9781 4718 5844 4 Topics 16-19

9781 4718 8567 9 AS/A Level Practical chemistry

The amazon link is:

Study Guides to Chemistry



How will I be assessed?

This qualification will be examined at the end of Year 13 in the following way:


% of the total qualification

Length of exam

Paper 1 : Advanced Inorganic and Physical Chemistry


1 hour 45 minutes

Paper 2: Advanced Organic and Physical Chemistry


1 hour 45 minutes

Paper 3: General and Practical Principles in Chemistry 40 2 hours 30 minutes

As well as the written papers, pupils will be assessed throughout Years12 and 13 on their practical skills. Over the two years they will complete 16 core practicals in lessons. These experiments will be formally written up in a lab book and stored in school. To achieve a pass, students must demonstrate that they are competent in all the practical published by the Department for Education.

The Science Practical Endorsement outcomes will be reported separately on students’ certificates alongside the overall grade for the qualification. It is important to note that the practical endorsement does not contribute to the overall A Level grade achieved but it informs Universities or future employers that the student has practical skills of A Level standard. There is no science practical endorsement for students who sit the AS exams and do not study Chemistry in Year 13, it is only awarded to A Level students.

Where might this course take me?

Chemistry is an essential requirement for degree courses in Medicine and Dentistry and is very favourably looked upon in many other medical-based degrees. It also goes well with many other A level courses e.g. Psychology, Physical Education.

Examples of careers using chemistry include: analytical chemist, cosmetic chemist, forensic chemist, pharmaceutical chemist. Studying chemistry is also great training for a career in lots of other areas too, such as marketing, finance, law, journalism, medicine and much more.