Why study A-level Chemistry?

Sometimes referred to as the 'central science', Chemistry helps to connect physical sciences, like Maths and Physics, with applied sciences, such as Biology, Medicine and Engineering. In fact, Chemistry is all around us and an understanding of the subject can help to answer many simple questions about everyday life!

Chemistry is one of the Russell Group universities' 'facilitating' subjects — so called because choosing them at A-level allows a wide range of options for degree study.

What will you study within A-level Chemistry?

Specific content covered within A-level Chemistry may vary from school to school, and depending on the exam board followed. Within the AQA specification, topics fall into three main categories: physical Chemistry, inorganic Chemistry and organic Chemistry. Specific areas of study may include aspects such as atomic structure, energetics, kinetics, oxidation, alkanes and alkenes, thermodynamics, polymers and amino acids, proteins and DNA.

What skills will you get from studying Chemistry?

As it is a science subject, the process of learning it helps a student to learn how to be objective, analytical, methodical, process and in turn solve problems. You can apply these skills outside academia, and the study of Chemistry can help understand current events including news about petrol, environmental issues, health and product scares and more.

What careers can the study of Chemistry lead to?

There are a wide range of Chemistry-related degrees available, including Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Environmental chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry and Polymer and Materials chemistry.

These degrees in turn can lead to a range of careers as varied as medicine, dentistry, forensic chemistry, geochemistry, R & D management, pharmacy, chemical engineering, petroleum engineering and perfumery.

Top 20 universities for Chemistry
(The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022)

1 University of Cambridge
2 University of Edinburgh
3 University of St Andrews
4 University of Oxford
5 University of Strathclyde
6 Imperial College London
7 University of Aberdeen
8 Durham University
9 University of Warwick
10 University of Liverpool
11 University of York
12 University of Bristol
13 Lancaster University
14 University of Glasgow
15 University of Bath
16 University College London
17 University of Southampton
18 = University of Nottingham
18 = University of Birmingham
20 Heriot-Watt University

Below are real-life examples of what university degrees studying A-level Chemistry, in combination with other subjects, can lead to.

Chemistry/ Biology/ Maths Royal Veterinary College Veterinary Medicine
Chemistry/ Maths/ Economics Queen Mary, University of London Economics
Chemistry/ Physics/ Biology/ Maths Queen's University Belfast Medicine
Chemistry/ Physics/ Maths University of Birmingham Chemistry
Chemistry/ Biology/ Maths University of Bristol Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Chemistry/ Physics/ Maths UCL Civil Engineering
Chemistry/ Maths/ Further Maths/ Physics Imperial College London Mechanical Engineering
Chemistry/ Physics/ Maths University of Oxford Engineering

For more details on the Chemistry A-level and syllabus, take a look at our dedicated factsheet