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Science at Andover College

Chemistry – A Level


Level 3



Type of study

School Leavers




2 Years

A Level Chemistry will allow you to develop an understanding of how chemists seek to utilise the world’s natural resources to provide the food, products, medicines and energy sources required in everyday life.  

You will build on your GCSE knowledge and develop further understanding of how chemists seek to utilise the world’s natural resources to provide the food, products, medicines and energy sources required in everyday life. Approximately one third of the course is practical based where you undertake a wide variety of experiments from determining energy gaps in atomic orbitals through to synthesising and testing a penicillin drug.

Five GCSEs at grade 9–4, including a grade 6 or above in Maths and Chemistry. BTEC Level 2 qualifications considered in subject related courses 


1st Year Topics 

Elements of Life 

  • atomic spectra and electron configurations  
  • fusion reactions  
  • mass spectrometry and isotopes  
  • the periodic table and Group 2 chemistry  
  • bonding and the shapes of molecules 
  • mole calculations 
  • titrations

Developing Fuels 

  • thermochemistry  
  • alkanes, alkenes and alcohols 
  • heterogeneous catalysis  
  • electrophilic addition  
  • gas volume calculations  
  • structural and E/Z isomers  
  • dealing with polluting gases

Elements From The Sea 

  • halogen chemistry  
  • redox chemistry and electrolysis 
  • equilibrium  
  • atom economy

Ozone Story 

  • the electromagnetic spectrum and the interaction of radiation with matter  
  • rates of reaction  
  • radical reactions  
  • intermolecular bonding  
  • haloalkanes  
  • nucleophilic substitution reactions  
  • the sustainability of the ozone layer.

What’s In a Medicine? 

  • the chemistry of phenols 
  • carboxylic acids and esters  
  • mass spectrometry and IR spectroscopy  
  • organic synthesis, preparative, purification and analysis techniques  
  • green chemistry.

Overview of Second Year Topics 

  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance 
  • Condensation Polymerisation 
  • Energetics of Dissolving 
  • Advance Equilibria 
  • Entropy 
  • Greenhouse gas chemistry 
  • Electrochemistry 
  • Acid Base Calculations 
  • Buffer Solutions 
  • Aromatic Chemistry 
  • Transition Metal Chemistry 
  • Biochemistry 
  • Chemistry of Colour 


Three Exams at The End of 2 Years 


A Level Chemistry can lead to careers in Chemical Engineering, Bio-chemistry, Veterinary Nursing, Forensic Science and Medicine.  Even if you chose not to follow a scientific career a Chemistry A level is widely respected across all disciplines. 


Seaside chemistry field trip extracting iodine from seaweed. Trip to London’s Science Museum for a bespoke A Level Chemistry treasure hunt. Chemistry in Action trip to the University College London for relevant A Level Chemistry lectures. Royal Society of Chemistry “Spectroscopy in a Suitcase” visit to Andover.  Students can analyse samples that they have synthesised throughout the course on cutting edge laboratory equipment.  


Your learning will take place in our well-equipped laboratories combining both practical and theory-based lessons.  Small class sizes (Maximum 16 but typically 10). Extra timetabled sessions are provided to enable a practical rich course.  Practical sessions take place in pairs. Typically, you will spend about 30% of the class time undertaking practical work.