What is Chemistry?

Chemistry is a branch of science concerned with matter and the investigation of their properties and reactions. By studying Chemistry A-Level, you will develop an understanding on how this branch of science contributes to social, economic, environmental and technological aspects of life; alongside gaining a solid understanding of the interactions between atoms, molecules and ions through three levels of chemical representation: macroscopic, sub-microscopic and symbolic. Chemistry is a very practical subject, with lots of opportunities to carry out investigations in a laboratory setting.


Why study this course?

Chemistry offers students a wide variety of post A-Level options; with much of the content linking to subjects such as biology, physics and maths. As well as helping you to understand processes in the natural world, studying chemistry equips you with key transferrable skills desirable by Higher Education institutions and employers such as: problem solving, handling data, communication and time management.     

How is the course assessed?

The OCR A Chemistry specification is taught at The Urswick School and is assessed through written exams and practical activities.

AS Level: You will sit two papers which can both assess any of the content from modules 1-4. They will be sat at the end of year 12.

    Paper 1: 50% of final grade.
    Paper 2: 50% of final grade.

A Level: You will sit 3 papers, all at the end of year 13.

    Paper 1: 37% of final grade. It covers content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5.
    Paper 2: 37% of final grade. It covers content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6.
    Paper 3: 26% of final grade. It covers the content from all 6 modules.

As part of the full A level course, you will also receive a grade for your practical competence. This will be assessed using 12 practical activities throughout the two years of the course. This is reported as a separate grade and doesn’t count towards your overall A level grade.


Who is the course suitable for?

Students who have an interest in biological, chemical and physical processes and maths. You should also enjoy carrying out practical investigations in a laboratory and solving problems.

Progression options

Chemistry can lead to a wide variety of careers in: healthcare, food science, environmental chemistry, science communication, patent law, toxicology, forensics, education, policy, sport science, accountancy, finance and much more. It is also well a well sought out subject by many employers for its transferrable skills.