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Claremont High School Academy


Head of Department

Dr B Chaudhry


 A Level

Exam Board


Entry Requirements

7 in Separate Science Biology or 77 in Combined Science, plus 6 in English and 6 in Mathematics

Why study this course

Chemistry is all around us, an understanding of the subject can help to answer many simple questions in everyday life, such as how we recharge our mobile phones, to why sugar dissolves in tea. Chemistry is involved in everything and will continue to be at the forefront of catering to society's needs for years to come in everything from energy, drug development to the latest innovative materials and technology.

Chemistry is a challenging academic subject. Studying it will enhance your analytical and numerical skills. Problem-solving skills are developed as well as how to apply knowledge in unfamiliar contexts. As well-respected subject Chemistry can open doors to many future courses and careers, not just in the sciences. It is a required subject for degree courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. It is also required for most Biomedical Science, Psychology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology degrees. The range of skills involved in Chemistry mean it is looked upon favourably by employers many other fields including Accountancy and Law.

Course Overview

Students follow the Edexcel specification, which extends and develops the ideas of GCSE Chemistry, introducing more modern and advanced concepts across all three branches of the subject which is covered over 19 units. A Practical Endorsement qualification, which does not contribute to the A Level directly, is embedded into this course and is assessed as part of the core practical work that students undertake. The emphasis of the syllabus is on the relevance of the subject to everyday life and it is therefore an interesting and dynamic course for students to study.

Selected Unit Summaries

Atomic Structure & Periodic Table – The course starts with a look at the atom, the building blocks of chemistry.  We discover the subatomic particles that make up an atom and look at how mass spectrometry is used to determine molecular masses.

Bonding & Structure – This unit develops on understanding atomic structure and looks more at molecules and the types of bonding witnessed in different types of molecule. Previous study of ions is developed and we explore radii and other physical properties and the effects these have on the behaviour of atoms and ions.

Redox I – This unit is concerned with balancing equations and how the concept of oxidation numbers can provide a very efficient tool in this area.

Inorganic Chemistry and the Periodic Table – A more detailed look at some of the groups of the periodic table. Discover the elements of group 1 and 2 as well as the halogen gases of group 7. Learn more about these groups and how their physical properties decide their external characteristics.

Formulae, Equations and Amounts of Substance– Discover the concept of the “mole” and meet Avogadro’s constant, as well as calculating reacting masses and volumes and identifying both empirical and molecular formulae.

Organic Chemistry – There are three units relating to organic chemistry; that is, chemistry relating to compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. The first of these topics provides an introduction to the discipline and starts to introduce key homologous series, including the alkanes and alkenes. The Second organic topic introduces important functional groups including the carbonyls and carboxylic acids and discusses the concept of chirality. The third and final organic chemistry topic develops this understanding further and introduces further organic species including the arenes and aromatic rings as well as the nitrogen-containing organic series.

Modern Analytical Techniques – The two units covering modern analytical techniques describe the key, cutting edge methods being employed in chemical analysis. Starting in the first topic with Mass spectrometry and IR spectroscopy before, later in the course, expanding on mass spectrometry and then introducing nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and chromatography.

Energetics – the units on energetics learn to use Hess’s law to calculate otherwise immeasurable energy changes in chemical reactions as well as discovering bon enthalpies, before being introduced to lattice energies and the concept of entropy and how scientists use this idea of “chaos” and “order” to answer important questions about chemical stability.

Kinetics – The kinetics units in the A-Level course show the student how the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution and collision theory are key in the creation of models in chemistry and how they account for the different effects that changing variables can have on the rate of a reaction. The later topic in this area explores the effects of catalysts on rates of reaction and introduces the mathematical expressions that describe rates of reaction.

Equilibria – In this unit, discover the fact that many chemical reactions are completely reversible and the idea of dynamic equilibrium. Students will also learn how changing variables like temperature, concentration or pressure can affect the position of a reaction’s equilibrium. The equilibrium units continue to look at the maths behind equilibria, introducing Kp and Kc calculations as well as the equilibrium constant.


The whole A Level course is assessed in three exams: 

Paper 1: Advanced Inorganic & Physical Chemistry 9CH0/01

90 marks – 1 hour 45 minutes – 30% of total qualification

Question types: multiple-choice, short open, open-response, calculations and extended writing questions.

Units examined:

  • Unit 1 Atomic Structure & the Periodic Table
  • Unit 2 Bonding & Structure
  • Unit 3 Redox I
  • Unit 4 Inorganic Chemistry & the Periodic Table
  • Unit 5 Formulae, Equations & Amounts of Substance
  • Unit 8 Energetics I
  • Unit 10 Equilibrium I
  • Unit 11 Equilibrium II
  • Unit 12 Acid-Base Equilibria
  • Unit 13 Energetics II
  • Unit 14 Redox II
  • Unit 15 Transition Metals

Paper 2:  Advanced Organic & Physical Chemistry 9CH0/02

90 marks  - 1 hour 45 minutes – 30% of total qualification

Question types: multiple-choice, short open, open-response, calculations and extended writing questions.

Units examined:

  • Unit 2 Bonding & Structure
  • Unit 3 Redox I
  • Unit 5 Formulae, Equations & Amounts of Substance Topic 4: Exchange and Transport
  • Unit 6 Organic Chemistry I
  • Unit 7 Modern Analytical Techniques I
  • Unit 9 Kinetics I
  • Unit 16 Kinetics II
  • Unit 17 Organic Chemistry II
  • Unit 18 Organic Chemistry III
  • Unit 19 Modern Analytical Techniques II

Paper 3: General and Practical Principles in Chemistry: 9CH0/03

120 marks – 2 hours 30 minutes – 40% of total qualification

 Question types: Multiple-choice, short open questions, open-response, calculations and extended writing questions as well as synoptic questions which can draw on a number of units and encourage you to apply your knowledge to unfamiliar problems.

Units examined: This particular exam may draw from any of the units and core particals covered during in the course.

Practical Endorsement : 9CH0/04

The new A Level gives students the opportunity to try out various techniques and apparatus in the practical investigation of biological concepts.

Throughout the course there are 16 core practical’s of which at least 12 must be completed and successfully assessed in order to receive the practical endorsement, a measure of competency in practical skills. The A-Level can now be reported as a “Grade with practical endorsement” or a “Grade without practical endorsement.”

Exam Specification

A Level Chemistry Specification











Topic-10 & 11Equilibrium-I-II-RAG










  • Chemistry Olympiad
  • Cambridge Chemistry Challenge
  • Trips to Chemistry Live

Future Pathways

Many of our students choose undergraduate courses requiring Chemistry. Others use their transferrable skills to study other courses at university.

Claremont alumni have gone on to study for degrees in:

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Biomedical Science
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Optometry
  • Psychology
  • Radiography
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Accountancy..... and many more.