A-Level Chemistry

Gaining A Deeper Knowledge Of The World

Exam Board and Specification Codes: OCR Chemistry A (H432)

Why Study Chemistry?

We all do Chemistry every moment of every day of our lives!

As the study of all the elements and their compounds, Chemistry is both conceptually challenging and requires good factual knowledge. Chemistry looks at all of the elements in the Periodic Table, both on a molecular and macroscopic level. It is regarded as the ‘central science’ that connects so many other areas together. New breakthroughs in fields such as genetics, biochemistry, medicine, materials, nanotechnology and drug discovery are all driven by Chemistry.

Chemistry is about matter. The molecules that are all around us and how they change and interact with each other. A study of Chemistry helps make so many observable everyday phenomena far less mysterious.

As a student of A-Level Chemistry, you can expect to cover all of the fundamentals that make up the three core areas of Chemistry: Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry.

Most importantly, Chemistry is a fascinating and ever-evolving subject; driven constantly both by new experimental discovery and advances made by theoreticians. If you want to fully understand the workings of the world around you then Chemistry is for you.

What is Covered by the Course?

Year 1

The first year course covers the following topics:

  • Calculations in Chemistry
  • Atomic & Electronic Structure
  • Structure & Bonding
  • Redox: Groups II & VII
  • Introduction to Thermodynamics
  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry & Analytic Methods
  • Introduction to Reaction Kinetics
  • Introduction to Chemical Equilibrium

Year 2

The second year course covers the following topics; designed to build upon all of the Chemistry studied in Year 1:

  • Chemical Equilibrium
  • Ionic Equilibrium: pH & Buffer Mixtures
  • Transition Metals
  • Reaction Kinetics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Electrochemistry
  • Carbonyls, Carboxylic Acids and Derivatives
  • Organo-Nitrogen Chemistry
  • Analytical Techniques: Spectroscopy and Chromatography

How is it Examined?

The OCR A-Level Chemistry Course will course will be examined via three written papers sat at the end of Year 2 and 12 Assessed Practicals (called PAGS) which must be completed in class and submitted in order to pass the Practical Endorsement. Typically, six practicals will be completed in Year 1 and a further six in Year 2.

The three theory papers are:

  • Periodic Table, Elements and Physical Chemistry (135 minutes)
  • Synthesis and Analytical Techniques (135 minutes)
  • Unified Chemistry (90 minutes)

Related University Courses?

Many people study Chemistry in conjunction with other sciences and/or Mathematics and go on to read Chemistry, Natural Sciences, Material Science, Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy at university. The most common combinations of A-Level subjects are those with Biology, Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics.

Chemistry opens the door for many careers because training in Chemistry is essential for many positions in industry, is highly desirable for science teaching, and is useful for careers in the public service and management. Both the public and the private sectors increasingly draw their higher management echelons from Chemistry graduates.

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Kensington Park School Sixth Form,
59 Queen's Gate,
South Kensington, London,

Tel: +44 (0)20 7225 0577


Kensington Park School (Years 7-11),
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