KS5 (Years 12 & 13)

Examination Board: AQA

At A-level students will study the AQA Chemistry (7404/7405) specification. The course consists of three disciplines which are taught throughout the two years: Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. The topics within each discipline are broken down as shown at the bottom of the page.

The A-level course will be examined at the end of year 13 with three 2 hour papers, contributing 35%, 35% and 30% towards the overall A-level. These papers will draw on all aspects from the three disciplines as well as the practical work completed throughout the two years. A more detailed breakdown can be found at the bottom of the page.

Whilst there is no longer a requirement to complete coursework, practical chemistry is still at the heart of the A-level. The endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level and assessed by direct observation of students’ competency in a range of 12 key practicals. The required practicals can also be found at the bottom of the page.

Chemistry is a challenging and rewarding subject that develops students’ scientific skills and knowledge. It is ideally suited to motivated students, who wish to learn about the more abstract nature of the world around them. The analytical and problem solving skills acquired through studying chemistry are essential in both scientific and non-scientific university courses. Possible career pathways include medicine, pharmaceutical research, materials science, veterinary sciences, forensics, patent law, scientific journalism, and teaching, amongst many others.



Physical chemistry

Inorganic chemistry

Organic chemistry

AS & A-level Year 1

3.1.1 Atomic structure

3.1.2 Amount of substance

3.1.3 Bonding

3.1.4 Energetics

3.1.5 Kinetics

3.1.6 Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc

3.1.7 Oxidation, reduction and redox equations

3.2.1 Periodicity

3.2.2 Group 2, the alkaline earth metals

3.2.3 Group 7(17), the halogens

3.3.1 Introduction to organic chemistry

3.3.2 Alkanes

3.3.3 Halogenoalkanes

3.3.4 Alkenes

3.3.5 Alcohols

3.3.6 Organic analysis


A-level Year 2

3.1.8 Thermodynamics

3.1.9 Rate equations

3.1.10 Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems

3.1.11 Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells

3.1.12 Acids and bases

3.2.4 Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides

3.2.5 Transition metals

3.2.6 Reactions of ions in aqueous solution

3.3.7 Optical isomerism

3.3.8 Aldehydes and ketones

3.3.9 Carboxylic acids and derivatives

3.3.10 Aromatic chemistry

3.3.11 Amines

3.3.12 Polymers

3.3.13 Amino acids, proteins and DNA

3.3.14 Organic synthesis

3.3.15 Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

3.3.16 Chromatography


A-level Chemistry (7405)




Paper 1

Paper 2

Paper 3

What's assessed


  • Relevant Physical chemistry topics
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Relevant practical skills
  • Relevant Physical chemistry topics 
  • Organic chemistry
  • Relevant practical skills
  • Any content
  • Any practical skills

How it’s assessed


  • written exam: 2 hrs
  • 105 marks
  • 35% of A-level
  • written exam: 2 hrs
  • 105 marks
  • 35% of A-level
  • written exam: 2 hrs
  • 90 marks
  • 30% of A-level



105 marks of short and long answer questions

105 marks of short and long answer questions

40 marks of questions on practical techniques and data analysis

20 marks of questions testing across the specification

30 marks of multiple choice questions





Endorsement of practical skills – 12 required practicals


  1. Make up a volumetric solution and carry out a simple acid–base titration
  2. Measurement of an enthalpy change
  3. Investigation of how the rate of a reaction changes with temperature
  4. Carry out simple test-tube reactions to identify:

• cations – Group 2, NH4+

• anions – Group 7 (halide ions), OH, CO32–, SO42–

  1. Distillation of a product from a reaction
  2. Tests for alcohol, aldehyde, alkene and carboxylic acid
  3. Measuring the rate of reaction:

• by an initial rate method

• by a continuous monitoring method

  1. Measuring the EMF of an electrochemical cell
  2. Investigate how pH changes when a weak acid reacts with a strong base and when a strong acid reacts with a weak base
  3. Preparation of:

• a pure organic solid and test of its purity

• a pure organic liquid

  1. Carry out simple test-tube reactions to identify transition metal ions in aqueous solution
  2. Separation of species by thin-layer chromatography