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The Bedford Sixth Form Chemistry

Qualification: A-Level | Exam board: OCR

Subject overview

The study of chemistry is important for understanding numerous processes that occur on the planet, whether inside the earth, in the atmosphere or in biological organisms.

During this course you will study the theoretical background to why chemical reactions occur, why different materials possess their particular properties, structure of the atom, significance of the arrangement of electrons and the importance of the periodic table in predicting properties.

We look at different types of molecule and their various reactions, and factors affecting how and why reactions occur. The course develops essential practical competences that are useful in a future scientific career.

A-Level Chemistry is a fascinating course that will provide you with an opportunity to study the aspects of how and why chemical reactions occur.

The Bedford Sixth Form Chemistry

Year one course content

The first year will consist of four modules, with one concerning practical skills development. The first module lays the foundations of chemistry that forms an essential bridge with your prior study of chemistry. It comprises the basic concepts and ideas that recur throughout the course.

These include:

  • Atomic structure and reactions
  • Electrons, bonding and structure
  • Quantitative chemistry: formulae, amount of substance and “the mole”

The second and third modules feature a more detailed study of inorganic, organic chemistry and physical chemistry. Topics range from the periodic table to rates of reaction and instrumental analytical techniques. The emphasis concerns industrial processes, applications to everyday life, environmental concerns associated with energy and sustainability.

The Bedford Sixth Form Chemistry

Year two course content

The second year consists of two modules embedded with further laboratory based practical skills. One module will cover organic chemistry of aromatic, carbonyl, acid and amino compounds. It also encompasses polymers and further analytical methods such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

The second module will feature a mixture of inorganic and physical chemistry. This includes the quantitative treatment of rates, equilibrium and pH, alongside the applied use of REDOX and energy change of reactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does this course prepare me for?

You could progress on to a laboratory-based position in a science organisation, an industry-based apprenticeship, or university course in chemistry, applied chemistry, applied science or chemical engineering.

A-Level Chemistry is required as entrance for most health sciences courses such as medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, biomedical sciences and pharmacy.

Course support and enrichment

A-Level Chemistry is a fascinating course that will provide you with an opportunity to study the aspects of how and why chemical reactions occur. It builds upon basic chemistry principles to enable you to develop a logical understanding of all the factors that govern reactions. Students who wish to pursue a career in physical science or medicine will almost certainly require this qualification to enable them to progress to university.

There is a significant amount of theoretical and mathematical content which could be daunting for some at first but is a great intellectual challenge for many. The practical activities allow both consolidation of theoretical principles and the development of essential skills that are a prerequisite for further scientific study.


There will be two written exams at the end of the first year which determine the grade of the AS qualification. This grade however, does not count towards the overall full A-Level qualification.

Instead two further written exams are taken at the end of the second year and only these count towards the final A-Level grade. Students must also complete a series of practical tasks to demonstrate their competence in fundamental scientific practical skills. These tasks are not graded but must be completed and recorded – and earn a ‘Practical Endorsement’ statement alongside the final grade.

As well as these external assessments you be will be regularly assessed by your teachers throughout the year to ensure you are performing to your potential. Students who succeed on this course are:

  • Inquisitive
  • Practical
  • Methodical
  • A creative thinker
  • Scientifically minded
  • Conscientious.