KS5 Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of matter and energy and the interaction between them. There are many reasons to study chemistry, even if you aren’t pursuing a career in science. Chemistry is everywhere in the world around you! It’s in the food you eat, clothes you wear, water you drink, medicines, air, cleaners… you name it. Chemistry sometimes is called the “central science” because it connects other sciences to each other, such as biology, physics, geology and environmental science. Chemistry is a well respected A-Level that can open up many pathways for the future from medicine, patent law, forensic science and farming amongst others.

There are three exams at the end of the two years for A-level, all of which are two hours long. At least 15% of the marks for A-level Chemistry are based on what you learned in your practicals.

  • Paper 1: Physical and Inorganic Chemistry
  • Paper 2: Physical and Organic Chemistry
  • Paper 3: Applied and Practical Chemistry

Physical chemistry includes work on atomic structure, amount of substance, bonding, energetics, thermodynamics, kinetics, chemical equilibrium and acid base chemistry.

Inorganic chemistry includes work on redox, periodicity, Group 2 the alkaline earth metals, Group 7(17) the halogens, electrode potentials and electrochemical cells, period 3 elements and their oxides, properties and reactions of transition metals.

Organic chemistry includes work on alkanes, halogenoalkanes, alkenes, alcohols, organic analysis, optical isomerism, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and derivatives, aromatic chemistry, amines, polymers, amino acids, proteins and DNA, organic synthesis, NMR spectroscopy and chromatography.

Year 12

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Atomic Structure

Amount of Substance


Introduction to organic chemistry













Group 2 + Group 7 chemistry

Organic analysis

AOptical isomerism

Aldehydes and ketone

Equilibrium constant Kp

Year 13

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Rate equations


Acids and bases

Carboxylic acids and derivatives

Aromatic chemistry

Amines, polymers, amino acids, proteins and DNA

Transition Metals

Reactions of metals in aqueous solutions

Period 3



Organic synthesis

Electrode potentials and Electrochemical cells


Revision / exam preparation




A variety of tasks are set as homework in chemistry from research, exam questions, key word definitions, revision, extended writing, and topic worksheets amongst others.

Other Useful Information

AS/A-LEVEL specification link: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/chemistry-7404-7405

AS/A-LEVEL past papers link: http://www.aqa.org.uk/exams-administration/exams-guidance/find-past-papers-and-mark-schemes

5 ways to help my son/ daughter

  • Ensure that they complete their homework
  • Ensure that they know when assessments are taking place and are doing the necessary revision for them
  • Ensure that they use their PLCs (personal learning checklists) in order to self-check what they have covered in the specification
  • Ensure that they use their PLCs when revising
  • Ensure that they are using the AQA website to download, and complete, as many past papers as possible