OCR Advanced Subsidiary GCE (H032)

OCR Advanced GCE (H432)

Chemistry works well with other A Level subjects such as Physics, Biology Mathematics, Business Studies and Social Sciences. An A level in chemistry is an entry requirement for many science and technology courses and places students at a considerable advantage when applying for many courses. Potential medical students must study chemistry as one of their A level subjects.

The qualification can be a step towards a possible career in veterinary science, pharmacy, dentistry, biochemistry, food science, nursing, chemical engineering and forensic science.

It can just was easily be a preparation for many non-scientific careers. Employers are increasingly appreciative of the general skills, such as problem solving, logical thought, numeracy and practical skills, which the study of chemistry at this level develops. 

Entry requirements

Course length

The AS level qualification is a one year course. The full A level course is taken over two years. The AS Level exam results no longer count towards the full A level qualification.

Course content

Chemistry A comprises six modules. Modules 1 to 4 constitute the stand-alone AS qualification; Modules 1 to 6, combined with the Practical Endorsement, constitute the full A level.

Module 1: Development of practical skills – this module underpins the whole of the specification, and covers the practical skills that students should develop throughout the course. The practical skills in this module can be assessed within written examinations and (for A Level only) within the practical endorsement.

Module 2: Foundations in chemistry covering concepts required throughout the remaining modules.

Module 3: AS Level topics; Periodic table and energy.

Module 4: AS Level topics; Core organic chemistry.

Module 5: A Level topics; Physical chemistry and transition elements.

Module 6: A Level topics; Synthesis and analytical techniques.

How is the course is taught?

The course has a flexible approach where the specification is divided into topics, each covering different key concepts of chemistry. Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and they are assessed both through written papers and, for A Level only, the Practical Endorsement.


At AS level, students sit two exams, consisting of:

Paper 1: Breadth in chemistry

Paper 2: Depth in chemistry

Both papers can access any content from Modules 1 to 4.

At A level, students sit three exams, consisting of:

Paper 1: Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry (assesses the content of Modules 1, 2, 3 and 5)

Paper 2: Synthesis and analytical chemistry (assesses the content of Modules 1, 2, 4 and 6)

Paper 3: Unified chemistry (assesses the content of Modules 1 to 6)

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