King James' School


What’s it all about? 

Have you ever wondered...  What is in a medicine?  What new fuels do we need to develop? Why do onions make you cry? How is chemistry linked to art?  Can you turn lead into gold? 

Study A Level Chemistry to find out the answers. 

This course will inspire you and bring chemistry to life.  We want you to develop a passion for chemistry laying the foundations for you to study this subject further and choose a chemistry related career.  We aim to help you develop skills which will be useful in any university course or in employment. A wide range of teaching and learning activities will be used to provide you with a very in-depth knowledge & understanding of Chemistry alongside mathematical and practical skills.  We have an outstanding team of staff delivering the course within an inclusive and supportive environment. 

Exam and Assessment Information: 

OCR Chemistry B (Salters) H433 

The units to be studied: 

Year 1 - Elements of life, Developing fuels, Elements from the sea, The ozone story, What’s in a medicine? 

Year 2 - The chemical industry, Polymers and life, Oceans, Developing metals, Colour by design 

Emphasis throughout the course is on developing knowledge, competence and confidence in practical skills and problem solving.  You will learn how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society. 


A total of 6 hours of examinations taken at the end of the course (3 exams for A-level).  A wide range of question types will be used including multiple choice, short answer and extended response questions.  These exams will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of theory, practical skills and maths skills. 

In addition to practical skills being assessed in the exams your practical competency will also be assessed separately by your teachers.  The course will offer regular opportunities for hands-on practical work and you will be required to have carried out a minimum of 12 practical activities, which will contribute towards this Practical Endorsement.

To get started: 

We require a grade B in Chemistry, Biology and Physics or Core & Additional Science, competent practical skills and a grade 6 or above from the higher tier of Maths.

What next? 

Studying chemistry is an excellent base for a university degree in healthcare such as medicine, pharmacy and dentistry as well as chemistry, the biological sciences, physics, maths and analytical chemistry. Chemistry is also undertaken by a number of law applicants as it shows you can cope with difficult concepts. Chemistry can also complement a number of arts subjects… the possibilities are endless!

A range of career opportunities are available including chemical, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries and in areas such as forensics, environmental protection and healthcare. The problem solving skills are useful for many other areas, too, such as law and finance. 

Remember Helen Sharman the first Briton in space…she has a chemistry degree from Sheffield University.

Our students say … 

“Chemistry is full of practicals.  They teach you to work independently and some are really interesting.” Abby Heron

 “Chemistry, while it is a challenging subject and will test you as a student, it also grants you the opportunity to grow as an individual and discover what methods of independent learning suits you best.  That and you get to play with chemicals.”  Jake Jones

There are aspects of this course that are mathematical, you may want to support this subject with a Level 3 Certificate in Mathematical Studies.  The details of this can be found on page 28.