Blessed William Howard

The Painsley Catholic Academy was established in 2012. We are the largest Catholic multi-academy company in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

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Course title:  Chemistry A Level AQA Block E

Academic year:


Course Venues:

Blessed William Howard

Course Type:

A Level

Course Code:



2 years


Course Description:

This course explores the inter-relationship between different areas of Chemistry including its application (social, economic, environmental and technological) within society. Your skills in laboratory procedures and techniques will also be developed as well as your ability to acquire knowledge by means of practical work. The course is aimed at students who have an interest in, and enjoyment of Chemistry, and enjoy carrying out investigation by the application of imaginative, logical and critical thinking as well as those who want to use Chemistry to support other qualifications or progress onto further studies.

Progression Routes:

The course will prepare students for higher education and career opportunities in Medicine, Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Petrochemicals, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Management, Drug Development, Environmental Analysis and Research.

Course Content:

Physical Chemistry – this section covers the nature of atoms, the arrangement of the periodic table and how the properties of elements and compounds can be explained.

Inorganic Chemistry – this section examines how the properties of the elements are related to their electronic structures and how this determines their position in the periodic table.

Organic Chemistry – this section is the study of compounds based on carbon chains. It extensively looks at the mechanisms of reactions of carbon compounds and the synthetic routes that can be used to create substances from polymers to drugs.

Practical Endorsement – Students are required to complete a minimum of twelve assessed practical experiments over the duration of the course. These experiments not only assess a student's skills in practical ability but also the ability to follow instructions, adapt methods where appropriate, accurately record results, manipulate data to interpret results and present and explain their findings in an ordered and logical way.

Entry requirements: 

The standard entry criteria to study in the sixth form are a 9-4 in at least seven different subjects, including English and mathematics, which would usually be at grade 4 or above.

To study science subjects at A-level (biology, chemistry, physics or psychology), you will be required to achieve at least a grade 6 grade or above in Combined Science: Trilogy or have achieved grade 6 or above in the individual subject area if taken as Chemistry (separate science).

For some A-levels with a high mathematical content (particularly computing, chemistry and physics) GCSE at grade 6 in mathematics is also required.


Assessment is carried out at the end of the two year course by a series of three examinations.

Paper 1 – Physical and Inorganic Chemistry 35%

Paper 2 – Physical and Organic Chemistry 35%

Paper 3 – Practical Skills (this covers all sections of Chemistry) 30%

Financial Information:

There is only one book for the entire 2 year course; ISBN: 978-0-19-835182-5 Textbooks can be bought or hired from the school at a price of £42.50. If hired, the full deposit will be returned at the end of the A2 course subsequent to the book being returned in a good condition.

Future opportunities:

You could take this course with other advanced level courses, which overlap with Chemistry such as Biology, Applied Science, Physics, Geography, Geology or more general subjects that may not relate to the sciences, to prepare for higher education. With further training, you could go into a job related to Chemistry or one of the other sciences such as a Doctor, Nurse, Scientist or Pharmacist. You could also go straight into a job as the GCE is a recognised qualification that will help you to develop the basic skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for.

Further information:

To find out more about this qualification, speak to Mr Cozier.

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