A Level Chemistry 

OCR Specification A 

Why study A-Level Chemistry ?

Chemistry is sometimes known as the ‘central science’ because it helps to connect physical sciences, like maths and physics, with applied sciences, like biology, medicine and engineering.

A-level builds upon the knowledge gained at GCSE but goes much further revealing some significant simplifications taught at GCSE. Questioning and experimentation can be really handy when it comes to building a whole range of skills for work. 

Chemistry helps you to develop research, problem solving and analytical skills. It helps you challenge ideas and show how you work things out through logic and step-by-step reasoning. 

Chemistry often requires teamwork and communication skills too, which is great for project management.

As a result Chemistry is a highly respected and useful qualification for higher education and employment in a wide range of areas.

Chemistry at UTC Cambridge

At UTC Cambridge we believe that science is a practical subjects and we strive to make lessons as interactive and practical as possible.  You will receive five lessons per week, these are often supported by the work that you will complete in Challenge Projects.

Where can A Level Chemistry take you?

A-level Chemistry will help you get ahead in most STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) careers and more besides. It is an important subject for careers in medicine, environmental science, engineering, toxicology, developing consumer products, metallurgy (studying how metals behave), space exploration, developing perfumes and cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, energy, teaching, science writing, software development and research.


View the full specification

Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry

This module is assessed across both years of the A-level course and you will have to keep a record evidencing the skills and techniques you have used in practicals throughout the course.

Year 12

Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry

Module 3 – Periodic table and energy

Module 4 – Core organic

Year 13

Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements

Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis 


Year 12 A Level Teaching Programme

Year 13 A Level Teaching Programme

Entry Requirements:

Ideally you should achieve a grade B or above in GCSE  (or AA in the double award science) for sufficient preparation for A-level. It contains a slightly greater level of mathematical content and overlaps with some topics taught in physics. 


At UTCC there are ongoing assessments throughout the year in order for you to track your progress and ensure you are on target. The information these tests generate will also help us to support you to make the improvements and changes that you need to succeed.

Year 12

2 x 1hour 30 minute exams both assessing modules 2-4, these will be internally assessed along with your practical endorsement records.
Each of the papers contains a mixture of multiple choice, extended structured questions and short answer questions.

Year 13

Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry - 100 marks - 2 hour 15 minute written paper worth 37% of the overall grade.
Assesses the content from teaching modules 1, 2, 3 and 5.

Synthesis and analytical techniques - 100 marks - 2 hour 15 minute written paper worth 37% of the overall grade
Assesses the content from teaching modules 1, 2, 4 and 6.
Both papers contain a mixture of multiple choice, short answer question styles and extended response questions

Unified chemistry - 70 marks - 1 hour 30 minutes written paper worth 26% of the overall grade
Assesses the content from teaching modules 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
This paper is a mixture of short answer and extended response questions

In addition to the exams each students has to complete a series of required practical activities, although these are not assessed, they are a compulsory component of the course.  

Where can I get extra help?

Suggested texts/websites: 

A-level Chemistry for OCR A

Rob Ritchie, David Gent

ISBN: 9780198351979