Exam Board Entry Requirements Subject Leader

Trilogy Science grades should be: 7/6 (min)

Separate Science grades should be 666 (min)

Ms L Tighe

Develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other

Develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods

Develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills.


Chemistry B (Salters) – a context-led approach.

Learners study chemistry in a range of different contexts, conveying the excitement of contemporary chemistry. Ideas are introduced in a spiral way with topics introduced in an early part of the course reinforced later. The ‘B’ specification places a particular emphasis on an investigational and problem-solving approach to practical work and is supported by extensive new materials developed by the University of York Science Education Group.

The specification is structured in a series of teaching modules that allow the concepts to unfold throughout the course. Each module is intended to be taught through a chemical ‘storyline’. The storylines address topics such as the use and development of fuels, and the use of metals in a wide range of applications including in medicines.

Story Lines

The course follows several story lines, namely:

  • Elements of life
  • Developing fuels
  • Elements from the sea
  • The ozone story
  • What’s in a medicine?
  • The chemical industry
  • Polymers and life Oceans
  • Developing metals
  • Colour by design

Practical Endorsement

Practical activities are embedded within the learning. Candidates complete a minimum of 12 practical activities to demonstrate practical competence as well as enhancing understanding of chemical theory.  Performance is reported separately to the A level grade as a pass / fail.



Fundamentals of chemistry (01) (110 marks) – 2 hours 15 minutes written paper.  Weighting 41% of course.

Assesses the content from across all teaching modules.

Scientific literacy in chemistry (02) (100 marks) – 2 hours 15 minutes written paper.  Weighting 37% of course.

Assesses the content from across all teaching modules and places a particular emphasis on scientific literacy. This component features a pre-release Advance notice article.

Practical skills in chemistry (60 marks) – 1 hour 30 minutes written paper.  Weighting 22% of course.

Assesses content from across all the modules with a particular emphasis on practical skills


Further Information

Textbooks have been written specifically for the course.  A level Salters Advanced Chemistry for OCR B introduces chemical ideas through real live contexts (storylines) and explains the chemical principles behind them. The Activities Pack supports with practical work, data analysis, IT applications and group exercises such as discussions and presentations.

Performance during the course is assessed by a test at the end of each topic.  As the transition from GCSE to A level can be difficult, these tests have become increasingly important and are used to monitor progress and highlight strengths and weaknesses.  The tests have also proved invaluable in predicting potential A level grades. 


Progression into Higher Education/Vocational Destinations

A level chemistry is essential for those who wish to study medicine, veterinary science, dentistry and chemical engineering.  Hospitals require the study of chemistry for pathology, pharmacology and clinical biochemistry.  The study skills developed in chemistry mean that it is a respected discipline for careers in law, management, banking, computing, accounting and economics.