Chemistry A Level

Chemistry is the science of substances and their properties and interactions, from explosions to the creation of new compounds. This is the ideal course if you aspire to work in pharmaceuticals, food chemistry or forensics. Topics include atomic structure, equilibrium and transition metals.

This course is one of our new Gold Star A levels. Find out more about them here.



Course requirements

A GCSE or equivalent in Chemistry or Double or Triple Science (minimum grade B) and Maths (minimum grade C) is recommended for this course. This is an online course so you will also need access to the internet.

Duration of study

It's really up to you but, as a guide, an A level course takes about 250-300 hours plus extra time for assignment work you submit to your tutor. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 24 months from the date of enrolment. Many students allow 18-24 months to complete an A level, but some complete the course within a year.


This course follows specification 9CH0 from the awarding organisation Edexcel. Full details of the specifications can be obtained from Edexcel's website.


Section 1 - Working as a chemist
  • Moles
  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Monitoring the course of a reaction

Section 2 - Bonding and redox reactions
  • Organic chemistry
  • Bonding and structure
  • Redox reactions

Section 3 - Inorganic chemistry, quantities and energy in reactions
  • Electronic structures
  • Inorganic chemistry and the periodic table
  • Formulae, equations and amounts of substance
  • Energetics

Section 4 - Organic chemistry
  • Naming organic compounds
  • Introduction to organic chemistry
  • Hydrocarbons, alkanes and alkenes
  • Halogenoalkanes and alcohols

Section 5 - Modern analytical techniques, kinetics and equilibrium
  • Modern analytical techniques 1
  • Kinetics 1
  • A case study in kinetics
  • Equilibrium
  • A case study in equilibrium

Section 6 - Equilibria and lattice energy
  • Safety in the laboratory
  • Choosing a suitable indicator for acid-case titrations
  • Acid-base titration

Section 7 - Entropy, further redox and transition metal chemistry
  • Entropy changes
  • Electrochemical cells

Section 8 - Kinetics, chirality and carbonyl compounds
  • Kinetics 2
  • Chirality
  • Carbonyl compounds

Section 9 - Carboxylic acids, arenes and amines
  • Carboxylic acids and their derivatives
  • Arenes - benzene compounds
  • Amines, amides, amino acids and proteins

Section 10 - Organic synthesis and modern analytical techniques
  • Organic synthesis
  • Modern analytical techniques 2

Exams and assessment

Three exams:
  • 1 hour 45 minutes, 30% of marks
  • 1 hour 45 minutes, 30% of marks
  • 2 hours 30 minutes, 40% of marks
  • The A level exams are written, with no practical element, but throughout the exam you will be expected to use your understanding of practical theory to answer questions. You will have gained this knowledge through the 19 core practicals within your course.

Non-exam assessment (NEA):


Assignments do not contribute towards your final grade but provide you with an opportunity to submit work to your tutor for marking and feedback. This will help you to gauge your progress as you work through the course.

This course has:
  • 1 introductory assignment
  • 10 assignments

Set texts and resources

Active e-book versions of these texts will be included free with your course:
  • Edexcel A Level Chemistry Student Book 1, G Curtis, A Hunt and G Hill, Hodder Education 2015
  • Edexcel A Level Chemistry Student Book 2, G Curtis, A Hunt and G Hill, Hodder Education 2015

Additional texts:
  • Maths Skills for A Level Chemistry, D McGowan and E Poole, Nelson Thornes 2013

Using learn@nec

Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:

Operating systems:
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or later
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
  • iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser

  • Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari 6 or later
  • Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)

learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.

How to enrol

There are several ways to enrol with NEC:
  • Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above.
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team.
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

Paying in instalments

It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative example:
Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months
  0% (fixed)

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.

Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to or visit
Including area code and country code (if outside of UK)

A Level Chemistry Course Sample

Thank you for your interest in this course.

Please fill out your details below, and you will receive an email containing a link to download the course sample.

What our students say...

"The best thing about the course was the instant feedback received from the tutors and the course set-up is really easy to follow. Studying has helped me open my eyes to the world around me. It has also helped me develop lab skills and also given me confidence in my own ability."
— Melanie Chapman