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International A level Chemistry International A levels

Pearson Edexcel

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Unlock the science that surrounds us in everyday life when you study International A level Chemistry online.


Multi-buy A levels:

Purchasing more than one A level? Use voucher code ALMB10 to receive 10% off at checkout.

Through our Chemistry International A level, you’ll gain fascinating knowledge about the world we live in. This qualification is ideal if you’re keen to study degree-level science or interested in careers such as forensic science, chemical engineering and product development.

Through topics such as atomic structure, equilibrium, transition metals and modern analytical techniques, you’ll learn to critically evaluate scientific information and evidence, as well as building a broader appreciation of the critical role chemistry plays in our society. Maths help is also included in every section of the course to best support you within your studies.

As part of studying International A level Chemistry online, you’ll put theory into practice through 16 core practical experiments, some of which are suitable for completion at home.

Why study International A level Chemistry?

Our International A level Chemistry online course explores complex ideas through relevant, engaging topics – all with the support of a specialist personal tutor. Alongside subject knowledge, you’ll gain confidence in mathematical, problem-solving, and practical skills.

You’ll have the flexibility to fit study around your lifestyle, learning at your own pace. Like many NEC students, perhaps you’ll go on to study a science-based subject at university, or use your qualification to support your next career move?

Our Chemistry International A level course is ideal if you:

  • are keen to build on knowledge gained at GCSE level.
  • have an enthusiasm for chemistry and an interest in further study or related careers.
  • enjoy working scientifically: making predictions, testing theories and evaluating and communicating your findings.
  • would like to build your analytical, numeracy, communication and problem-solving skills, to improve your employability.
  • are interested in discovering how chemistry impacts everyday life.

Future opportunities

  • employers value candidates who can demonstrate science-based skills.
  • studying chemistry or STEM subjects at university.
  • a range of rewarding careers including in medicine, research, biochemistry, chemical engineering, consumer product development, forensic science, environmental law, pharmaceuticals, space exploration, software design or related areas such as the food industry, technical writing, transportation and education.

Course content

Section 1: The structure of the atom and bonding

  • Maths help
  • Atoms, elements, molecules and reactions
  • Calculations with moles
  • Empirical and molecular formulae
  • Calculations with solutions and gases
  • Atomic structure
  • The Periodic Table
  • Ionic bonding
  • Covalent bonding

Section 2: Molecule shapes and organic chemistry

  • Maths help
  • Shapes of molecules
  • Metallic bonds
  • Giant lattices
  • Introduction to organic chemistry
  • Reactions of organic chemicals
  • Alkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Polymers

Section 3: Energetics, redox chemistry and quantitative analysis

  • Maths help
  • Enthalpy
  • Using bond enthalpies
  • Intermolecular interactions
  • Redox reactions
  • Reactions in Group 1 and 2
  • Oxides, hydroxides and thermal stability in Groups 1 and 2
  • Reactions in Group 7
  • Other reactions in halides
  • Titration

Section 4: Kinetics and qualitative analysis

  • Maths help
  • Factors affecting reaction rates
  • Equilibrium
  • Rates of organic reactions: halogenalkanes
  • Reactions of alcohols
  • Spectroscopy

Section 5: Experimental skills and consolidation

  • Maths help
  • Errors and uncertainties
  • Accurate measurement and experimental methods
  • Describing an experiment
  • Experiment 1: Flame tests
  • Experiment 2: Monitoring a reaction by measuring the loss of mass
  • Experiment 3: Measuring the molar volume of a gas

Section 6: Kinetics, entropy and chemical equilibria

  • Maths help
  • Quantifying reaction rates
  • Finding the reaction order
  • Reaction mechanisms
  • Activation energy and the Arrhenius equation
  • Introduction to entropy
  • Entropy change
  • Lattice energy
  • Equilibrium constants
  • Factors affecting the equilibrium constant
  • Summary

Section 7: Acid-base equilibria, further organic chemistry

  • Maths help
  • Strong and weak acids
  • Acid-base titrations
  • Chirality
  • Carbonyl compounds
  • Carboxylic acids
  • Carboxylic acid derivatives
  • Chromatography and mass spectra
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • Summary

Sections 8-10 will cover the rest of the specification.

Study A level Chemistry with us and benefit from:

  • Flexible learning
  • Support from a personal tutor by email, phone or Skype
  • Any time enrolment
  • Our exam booking service
  • Assignments with tutor feedback
  • Ongoing support from Student Support
  • Forums to discuss your course with other students


Choose when and where you access your course, using learn@nec our 24/7 learning platform.

This easy-to-use learning platform includes interactive checkpoints, quizzes and activities to help you evaluate your progress.

Our course tutors

You’ll have access to support from a personal tutor. All NEC tutors are subject experts, with experience in supporting online learners.

Meet Jane who is just one of our first-class chemistry tutors:

“I have taught for NEC since the late 1970s on maths, sciences and engineering courses and have also been a tutor for the Open University in technology. Each student has different goals and I aim to help everyone succeed. When students find themselves in difficulty with their course, I endeavour to show them clearly the way to reach the correct answer. I have a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and engineering. I have conducted research in chemistry and engineering and have a PhD in the latter. I completed the adult teaching qualification Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (now called Education and Training Level 3). I live in East Anglia.”

What you need to know

Exam board

  • Edexcel YCH11


  • Online learning with support from a personal tutor


  • Complete at your own pace
  • Approx. 300-360* hours plus time for completing assignments

*The specification suggests that 300 hours is needed. You’ll also need time to complete assignments and prepare yourself for exams and some courses like English literature involve a lot of reading. Everyone is different so it’s impossible to say with certainty how long a course will take you, but you should expect to spend longer than 300 hours. Taken across the length of time we recommend, this equates to approximately 5 hours per week. This will increase if you choose to take it over a shorter time frame or may be less if you are retaking a subject and have covered a lot of of the course content.


  • 11 assignments (one introductory) – these do not contribute towards your final grade
  • 19 core practicals


Set textbooks – included as a free ebook with your course:

  • Cliff, Curtis, et al (2020) Pearson Edexcel International AS Level Chemistry Student Book, VitalSource
  • Cliff, Curtis, et al (2020) Pearson Edexcel International A level Chemistry Student Book, VitalSource


  • An (I)GCSE or equivalent in both Maths and Chemistry or Double/Triple Science is recommended
  • Internet access
  • Computer operating system and browser to support learn@nec

What's included?

Our course fees are clear and transparent to help you plan for any additional costs.

Your course fee includes:

  • 24/7 access to learn@nec platform and resources
  • Expertly designed online course materials (including ebook versions of textbooks where specified) that you need to complete the course
  • Support from our Student Services team
  • Structured assignments carefully designed to prepare you for exams
  • Guidance from your tutor for up to 24 months from your date of enrolment
  • Extensive feedback to all assignments that will support your learning
  • NEA (coursework) marking and authentication
  • Marking for one examination paper (from a previous year)
  • Guaranteed exam place
  • NEC’s guide to study skills: How to Succeed as an Independent Learner
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar guide
  • Time planner template to help you plan your study timetable
  • Information on how to apply for exams

Your course fee does not cover:

  • Any fees in relation to exam entries or assessments
  • Centre Assessment Grades (CAG) in the event of exam cancellation
  • Recommended textbooks for additional reading or set texts
  • Equipment for core practicals

If you need more support, you can purchase:

  • Online tutorials – if you need help with a specific topic you can arrange a 30 minute or 1 hour tutorial
  • Additional past paper marking – to help with your exam preparation
  • Revision tutorial –  to plan your revision and explore revision techniques
  • Help with your UCAS application service

For further information on additional/optional support you can purchase, please visit our additional services page.

Exams and Assessment


Exams (six):

Unit 1, 2 and 3 (Paper 1, 2 and 3 below) are IAS Units. Units 4, 5 and 6 (Paper 4, 5 and 6 below) are IAL Units. Students must sit all six units to gain the A level qualification.

  • Paper 1: Structure, bonding and introduction to organic chemistry
  • Paper 2: Energetics, group chemistry, halogenoalkanes and alcohols
  • Paper 3: Practical skills in Chemistry I
  • Paper 4: Rates, equilibria and further organic chemistry
  • Paper 5: Transition metals and organic nitrogen chemistry
  • Paper 6: Practical skills in Chemistry II

Additional support if you're under 18

We know that our younger students often need an extra helping hand with their studies. In our experience learning online works best when either a parent or guardian are involved. This is why NEC has developed our unique Progress Tracker to help you to support your child.

NEC’s Progress Tracker will allow you to easily track your child’s progress across their subjects and gain insight to how well they are doing through access to their assignment grades and tutor feedback.  

Read more about how we work with young students who are studying at home or through a school.

Arrange a callback with a member of our Course Advice Team

Would you like to talk to our Course Advice Team about the best route for you? Visit our Contact Us page, fill in the form and a member of the team will get back to you!