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I Am Known: I Am More


Chemistry is all around you. From the fibres that wick away moisture in your clothing to the purified water in your bottle, chemistry can be found in nearly every part of our modern life.

While there are many reasons to study this fascinating subject, numerous transferable skills are developed within the A Level Chemistry curriculum that are of use in many fields of study. Consequently, Chemistry is particularly favoured by university admissions tutors for non-scientific subjects, who often consider it to be a good indication of an applicant’s wider ability and intellect.

Particularly good combinations of subjects with Chemistry at A Level are Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Economics and Geography. If you are concentrating on Humanities or Languages and wish to broaden your studies, Chemistry is an excellent option.

The ideal chemist is mathematically confident with a good grasp of English and will have achieved at least a 7 in GCSE Chemistry or 7-7 in Double Award Science.

To find out more about Chemistry at GCSE Level, please see GCSE Science.



A Level - Chemistry





Module 1: development of practical skills in chemistry


Module 2: foundations in chemistry


Module 3: periodic table and energy


Module 4: core organic chemistry


Module 5: physical chemistry and transition elements


Module 6: organic chemistry and analysis.

Paper 1: Periodic table, elements and physical
chemistry (37%)

Modules 1, 2, 3 and 5

2 hours 15 minutes written paper

Paper 2: Synthesis and analytical techniques (37%)

Modules 1, 2, 4 and 6

2 hours 15 minutes written paper

Paper 3: Unified chemistry (26%)

Modules 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

1 hour 30 minutes written paper

Practical endorsement in chemistry

(non-exam assessment)

Beyond the Course: the study of Chemistry to A Level is essential for a wide variety of university courses, including Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Veterinary Science, many Biological subjects, and Chemistry itself. Whether the subject is studied for its own sake or as a qualification to proceed to other degree courses, the successful student will be a logical and capable problem-solver with an analytical mind.


In the Science Department, learning does not stop when students leave the classroom, and we provide a multitude of extra activities for interested students to get involved with. We believe that it is vital that student enthusiasm be fuelled, and that some of the best learning happens outside of the classroom when students are passionate about the subjects they are studying.

Chemistry-based activities have included workshops, such as Spectroscopy in a Suitcase, laboratory days at the University of Oxford or University of Reading, and the opportunity to develop problem-solving skills by taking part in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and the RSC Chemistry Olympiad. We like to get involved in practical laboratory-based events, such as the RSC Schools Analyst competition for Lower 6th Form students.

In addition to subject-specific activities and events, the department facilitates an ever-evolving programme of activities designed to inspire and enthuse. Recent examples of these include:

  • Minecraft STEM Club: developing understanding of science-based ideas and concepts through modelling and building
  • 6th Form Science Journal Club: provides opportunities for scientists at all levels to develop critical reading skills by evaluating scientific literature and thereby improving their scientific literacy, introducing them to new concepts and techniques, and, most importantly, improving confidence and communication skills.
  • Local trips: Science Museum, Royal Institution, GCSE Science Live
  • International trips to Iceland [Biology & Geography collaboration]
  • All 6th Form scientists and psychologists attend the annual UNESCO conference.


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Contact Us

The Oratory School

Tel: +44 (0)1491 683500