If you have any further enquiries, please email Miss Abigail Hayward, Head of Chemistry, at


Why study OCR A Level Chemistry?

This course will give you the skills and understanding to make decisions about the way Chemistry affects your everyday life by applying concepts into contemporary areas of Chemistry including:

  • Climate change
  • Practical skills
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Chemistry research

A GCE in Chemistry allows you to develop a range of skills requested by both employers and universities. For instance, a successful GCE chemist will be an effective problem-solver and be able to communicate efficiently both orally and with the written word. Handling data will be a key part of your work, allowing you to demonstrate information retrieval skills as well as use of numeracy and ICT. You will build up a range of practical skills that require creativity and accuracy as well as developing a firm understanding of health and safety issues. As Chemistry is a subject in which learning stems from experimental work you will need to work effectively as part of a group, developing team participation and leadership skills. As you become more skilled you will take responsibility for selecting appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods, recording your observations and findings accurately and precisely as well as critically analysing and evaluating the methodology, results and impact of your own and others’ experimental and investigative activities.

Is Chemistry the right subject for me?

A Level Chemistry is suitable if you:

  • Have an interest in, and enjoy chemistry
  • Want to find out about how things work in the real world
  • Enjoy applying your mind to solving problems
  • Can think flexibly
  • Want to use chemistry to progress onto further studies in Higher Education or support other qualifications or enter chemistry based employment
  • Are considering medicine, veterinary science or dentistry

What will I learn?

OCR A Level Chemistry gives you the opportunity to study a core of key concepts in detail. Many of the ideas first covered at GCSE will be revisited but with a greater emphasis on explaining, rather than simply describing, the behaviour of molecules. While studying GCE Chemistry you will develop practical skills that include making observations, collecting data, analysing experimental results and formulating conclusions. You will also gain an appreciation of how scientific models are developed and evolve, the applications and implications of science, the benefits and risks that science brings and the ways in which society uses science to make decisions.

What do I need to know, or be able to do, before taking this course?

The qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and process skills that you achieved in GCSE Combined Science and Chemistry. It is expected that you should have at least the equivalent of grade 6 in GCSE Chemistry or grade 6 - 6 in Combined Science and a GCSE grade 6 in English and Mathematics. In Chemistry you will need to be able to communicate effectively, be able to carry out research, work independently and think critically about problems. Good practical skills are also important as Chemistry is a very practical subject.

Why at Salesian College?

The small class numbers allow time to give individual attention to students. This ensures that progress can be monitored closely and students’ problems diagnosed and dealt with on an on-going basis. All staff members are experienced chemists with experience in teaching the OCR A Level Chemistry course.

What can an A Level in Chemistry lead to?

Chemistry is compulsory for those aspiring to be doctors, dentists and vets. The materials technology industry is ever-expanding and as ‘green’ issues assume greater prominence, there is an increasing role for the environmental chemist. Apart from reading for a pure Chemistry degree, there are a great variety of University courses which use Chemistry as part of the main area of study eg. Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, Food Science, Colour and Polymer Chemistry, Textile Technology, Geochemistry, Petroleum Engineering. There is also a wide selection of combination degrees available in most Universities, such as Chemistry with Economics, Chemistry and European Studies.

Most University Faculties produce statistics for employment destinations for their Chemistry graduates, which regularly compare very favourably with other degrees. These destinations include industry, commerce, teaching and research. A significant number of Chemistry-related graduates end up in professions such as Accountancy or as an Actuary where the analytical skills which they have developed are a key feature of the work involved.


Paper 1
Periodic table, elements and physical
100 2hr 15mins 37% of total
A Level
Section A Multiple Choice 15
Section B Structured questions
covering theory &
practical skills
Paper 2
Synthesis and analytical techniques 100 2hr 15mins 37% of total
A Level
Section A Multiple Choice 15
Section B Structured questions
covering theory &
practical skills
Paper 3
Unified Chemistry 70 1hr 30mins 26% of total
A Level
Structured questions and extended
response questions, covering theory
and practical skills

Practical endorsement to Chemistry Pass/Fail Non-exam

Teacher assessed component
common to Chemistry A and
Chemistry B (salters). Candidates
complete a minimum of 12 practical
activities to demonstrate practical
competence. Performance reported
separately to the A Level grade.
Moderation details still to be
confirmed by Ofqual