Chemistry is the science of the structure, properties and reactions of matter. It is a basic science, key to an understanding of the world we live in and a practical science with an enormous number and variety of important applications. This A Level course will develop on the key areas studied at GCSE level, and will prepare you to apply this knowledge at university level or in a practical setting.

About the Course

Knowledge of chemistry is fundamental to an understanding of biology and biochemistry and of certain aspects of geology, astronomy, physics and engineering. This course is divided into topics, each containing different key concepts of chemistry. Once the key features of a topic have been developed, applications are considered.

The delivery methods include lectures, group work and laboratory work, with regular homework being set which plays an important part of the learning process. 

The aims of this course are to encourage you to:

  • develop your interest in, and enthusiasm for, chemistry, including developing an interest in further study and careers in chemistry
  • appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society
  • develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of “How Science Works”
  • develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of chemistry and how they relate to each other

You will develop a variety of skills throughout the course including being able to:

  • analyse and evaluate scientific knowledge
  • apply scientific knowledge and processes to unfamiliar situations
  • assess the validity, reliability and credibility of scientific information
  • demonstrate and describe ethical, safe and skillful practical techniques and processes
  • make, record and communicate reliable and valid observations and measurements with appropriate precision and accuracy

If you want to do a degree in chemistry you should also seriously consider taking A Level Mathematics, as maths plays an important role in many aspects of chemistry, particularly at degree level.


Key Units

Year 1

The first year of the course builds upon the chemical concepts that have been developed at GCSE:

  • Atomic structure
  • Bonding
  • Reactions associated both with inorganic and organic chemistry
  • Modern analytical techniques
  • The link between chemistry and the environment

Year 2

  • These concepts are then further developed in the second year.

Entry Requirements

To study 3 A Levels

5+ GCSEs grades 9-4 in different subjects, including English Language and Maths at a minimum of grade 4.

Additional Requirements

Grade 6-9 in Maths
Grade 6-9 -B in Chemistry if taking separate sciences
Grade 6-9 in Double Science or Core Science AND Additional Science (not applied or vocational science)

The Sheffield Sixth Form welcomes students who have studied vocational qualifications. However, the minimum entry requirements for the A Level programme, as shown above, must be GCSEs.



Chemistry A Level is fully linear so assessment of a student’s knowledge and understanding of the whole course takes place at the end of two years of study for A Level and after 1 year for AS Level.

Candidates complete practical activities to demonstrate practical Competence, qualitative and quantitative work and developing your research skills. Performance is reported separately to the A Level grade.

Where does this lead

A large number of science related university degrees request chemistry as a preferred A Level. Any science related employment area welcome chemistry qualifications. You may choose to pursue a degree course in chemistry or other related science courses, such as medicine, biochemistry, dentistry, food science etc.

Future Opportunities

As a chemist you could make medicines to fight cancer, develop exciting new ice-cream flavours, create new make-up and hair products, design and make new materials for faster computers and more complex mobile phones, protect the environment.


Tell Me More

Will this subject suit me?

Chemistry requires an interest in the subject and an enthusiasm and commitment to work hard. You will need to develop your abilities to work independently and take responsibility for your own progress.

Personal Study Time

A Level students are expected to devote as much time outside the classroom to their studies as in lessons. Homework is set on a weekly basis and it is expected that students will work independently of set work in order to broaden their knowledge.


  • Course: P00236
  • Start Date: September 2023
  • Level: 3
  • Area: A Levels
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Category: School Leavers

Typical entry requirements:

To study 3 A Levels

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or higher, including English Language and Maths 

Please note:

  • BTEC or vocational qualifications will not be accepted in place of GCSEs
  • International applicants must also have IELTS 6.0

Additional Requirements

  • Grade 6-9 in Maths
  • Grade 6-9 -B in Chemistry if taking separate sciences
  • Grade 6-9 in Double Science or Core Science AND Additional Science (not applied or vocational science)

Similar courses to Chemistry