St Augustine's Catholic College

A Level Chemistry

Chemistry is the scientific study of matter and the transformations that it undergoes. It is concerned with the properties, structure, composition, and behaviour of substances, including atoms, molecules, and ions. Chemists seek to understand the underlying principles of these phenomena and to use this knowledge to develop new materials, compounds, and processes with specific properties and applications.

Chemistry is a central science that has applications in a wide range of fields, including medicine, materials science, environmental science, engineering, and many others. It is a highly interdisciplinary field, combining elements of physics, biology, and mathematics to understand and manipulate the chemical behaviour of matter. The study of chemistry is essential for understanding the natural world and for developing technologies that improve our lives.

Why study A Level Chemistry?

  • You enjoy subjects that encourage both imagination and logical problem solving

  • You enjoy practical work and making discoveries of your own.

  • You want to develop a range of transferable skills

  • You want to learn how sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society

  • You are thinking of a career in any scientific discipline or a vocation that requires A Level Chemistry - such as medicine, nursing, veterinary science, dentistry, pharmacy

What will I study?

Students follow the AQA Chemistry course which includes the following topics:

  • Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations
  • Enthalpy, entropy and free energy
  • Amount of substance
  • Redox and electrode potentials
  • Acid–base and redox reactions
  • Transition elements
  • Electrons, bonding and structure
  • Organic chemistry
  • The periodic table and periodicity
  • Polymers
  • Group 2 and the halogens
  • Organic synthesis
  • Reaction rates and equilibrium
  • Analytical techniques (IR and MS)
  • pH and buffers

Practical Endorsement

The practical endorsement is designed to assess practical skills and competence in experimental techniques, as well as the ability to design, plan, and carry out experiments. 

The experiments are designed to cover a range of skills and techniques, including data analysis and interpretation, laboratory safety, and experimental design. Students are required to keep a record of their practical work, including observations, data, and conclusions.

There are 12 required practical activities to complete during the course including:

  • measuring energy changes in chemical reactions
  • testing for different types of compound
  • different methods for measuring rates of reaction
  • studying electrochemical cells
  • preparation of organic solids (aspirin) and liquids
  • an advanced form of chromatography for more accurate results


There is no coursework on this course. However, performance during practical activities will be assessed as part of the practical endorsement.

There are three exams at the end of the two years for A level Chemistry, all of which are two hours long. At least 15% of the marks are based on the skills developed by completing the 12 required practicals. 

The exams is made up of a wide range of question types including multiple choice, short answer and extended response questions.

Where can A Level Chemistry take me?

A Level Chemistry is an excellent base for a university degree in healthcare such as medicine, pharmacy and dentistry as well as physical and biological sciences, materials, mathematics and engineering. Many law applicants also take chemistry as it shows you can cope with difficult concepts.

Why St Augustine’s?

  • The Chemistry Department are enthusiastic and well-qualified Chemists, who have considerable experience in teaching A Level

  • We are very supportive department and will help you to become a successful A Level Chemist

  • Students achieve strong A Level results - past students have gone on to study a range of courses including medicine, veterinary medicine, chemistry, mechanical engineering, biomedical sciences, radiography, biochemistry, chemical engineering and economics.