Teesdale School-21-2

Chemistry A level

Chemistry is important because everything we do is chemistry! Even your body is made of chemicals. Chemical reactions occur when you breathe, eat, or just sit there reading. All matter is made of chemicals, so the importance of chemistry is that it's the study of everything! Many of the materials we take for granted today have been developed by chemists and the search for even more useful materials and medicines is continuing.

Chemistry is used extensively in analysis and detection of substances and at A level we study some of these methods in detail. It is a practical subject and at A level there is lots of opportunity to carry out practical work.

Chemistry is a key subject for lots of STEM careers, particularly in medicine, pharmacy and chemical engineering. 

Chemistry is usually required or recommended for degrees in: biochemistry, chemical engineering, dentistry, chemistry, geology, environmental science, materials science, pharmacy, and a wide range of biology courses.


A level Chemistry

Awarding body


Entry requirements

GCSE at Grade 5 or above in both maths and English. Grade 6 or above in chemistry triple award or Grade 6 or above in science dual award.

Course overview Chemistry is divided into a number of topics. These topics are interrelated and by the end of Year 13 it is rewarding for students to finally see the ‘whole picture’.

Year 12

Atomic structure, bonding

An introduction to organic chemistry – oil, alkanes, alkenes, halogenoalkanes and alcohols

Periodic table and inorganic chemistry – periodicity, group 2 and group 7

Physical chemistry – enthalpy, equilibria and reaction rates

Year 13

Physical chemistry – thermodynamics, kinetics, acids and bases and electrochemistry

Inorganic chemistry – periodic table and transition elements

Organic chemistry – carboxylic acids and their derivatives, nitrogen-containing compounds, aromatic chemistry, polymers and analysis


Three written examinations at the end of Year 13.

Paper 1   Inorganic and physical chemistry

Paper 2   Organic and physical chemistry

Paper 3   A synoptic paper

Practical endorsement – students will complete a minimum of 12 practical activities to demonstrate practical competence.


Why study chemistry?

Chemistry is of particular value to those hoping to pursue careers in medicine, dentistry, scientific research, veterinary sciences, pharmacy, geology, chemical engineering and is recommended for a large number of biological/environmental degree courses.

I took A level chemistry because its a hugely useful facilitating a level for many science degrees.
Year 12 student

Potential career paths and further study

Chemistry is the science that links to all of the others. It is needed for medicine, dentistry and useful even if you want to do economics. It sits well alongside other sciences as well as on its own.

Chemistry at Teesdale Sixth Form
With exciting practicals and interesting content, chemistry at A level is one of my favourite subjects. The teaching ensures a smooth transition from GCSE level maximising students' potential as well as providing a comfortable, intimate fast learning environment.
Year 12 student