Why should I study Chemistry?

Chemistry is a highly rewarding, interesting and challenging subject that is prized by universities and employers alike. In addition to gaining the skills necessary to become an outstanding chemist you will also gain many valuable transferable skills necessary to be successful in the world of work (such as the ability to be analytical, methodical and logical).

Once students have gained a Chemistry A-Level they may further continue their studies at university on a scientific degree or they may enter the job market. Chemistry students are always sought after because of the demanding nature of the Chemistry A-Level as well as the important transferrable skills which have also been gained. If you enjoy finding out about this extraordinary world that we live in and why reactions happen (often in exciting ways!), then this is the subject for you. All we ask is that you are ready for a challenge!

 What will I study?

Year 12

Module 1 – Practical skills in chemistry.

Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry:

Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations.

Amounts of substance.

Acid-base and redox reactions.

Electrons, bonding and structure.

Module 3 – Periodic table and energy:

Periodic table and periodicity.

Group 2 and halogens.

Qualitative analysis.

Enthalpy changes.

Reaction rates and equilibrium.

Module 4 – Core organic chemistry:

Basic concepts.


Alcohols and haloalkanes.

Organic synthesis.

IR and MS.

Year 13

Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements:

Reaction rates and equilibrium.

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.



Chromatography and NMR.

What are the entry requirements?

Please check this subject table for full details of our A Level entry requirements.


What skills will I need?

You will use practical skills frequently as there is a significant amount of practical work on the A-Level Chemistry course.

You will enhance your ability to be analytical, methodical and logical, as well as improving your problem solving skills.

You will need to have a real interest in finding out about why reactions happen!

How will I be taught? You will be taught for four and a half hours per week by experienced and highly knowledgeable teaching staff. The department has  been graded by Ofsted as Outstanding. A variety of resources will be used including work booklets, textbooks, the internet and Moodle (our intranet) and of course practical experimental work!

How will I be assessed? The A-level Chemistry course is formally assessed by a series of exams at the end of two years. We will frequently assess you throughout the two years (including internal monthly assessments) to ensure you know and understand which areas need improving and then we will target these areas.

What will the course prepare me for? A-Level Chemistry is great preparation for many opportunities. It will of course prepare you for starting a job straight away or for further study at degree level within the sciences. However, it will also prepare you for a whole host of other careers and degree courses due to the transferrable skills you will pick up along the way. Many students find work in careers as diverse as architectural engineering or finance or marketing!

How much private study should I expect to do? In Year 12 it is about four hours each week. The second year (Year 13) is more demanding and so requires more private study time.

What materials will I need to purchase? You will require pens, paper and ruler etc. A scientific calculator is also needed.

What is the exam board?AQA

This subject is for you if

if you enjoy science and are interested in the reactions taking place all around us in this amazing world in which we live in!


This subject is not for you if

you do not like exams, practical work, or if you are not looking for a challenge.


“I have really enjoyed my first year of Chemistry at New College and am excited to start next year’s course. Although I have found it difficult at times I have enjoyed challenging myself.”

Megan Owen, The Freeston Academy

“At the start I found Chemistry a challenge but after working hard and seeking help I started to get a better understanding of the concepts. It’s a very rewarding subject when the pieces start to fall into place.”

Alex Ashby, The Snaith School