The National Extension College
Unlock the science that surrounds us in everyday life when you study A level Chemistry online.
Through our Chemistry 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.
As part of studying A level Chemistry online, you’ll put theory into practice through 19 core practical experiments, some of which are suitable for completion at home. You can also opt to gain a practical skills endorsement – a requirement for certain university and career choices.
Why study Chemistry?
Our 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?
Section 1: Working as a chemist
- Atomic structure and the periodic table
- Monitoring the course of a reaction
Section 2: Bonding and redox reactions
- Organic chemistry
- Bonding and structure
- Redox 1
- 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
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 1
- A case study in equilibrium
Section 6: Equilibria and lattice energy
- Safety in the laboratory
- Equilibrium 2
- Choosing a suitable indicator for acid-base titrations
- Acid-base titration
- Lattice energy
Section 7: Entropy, further redox and transition metal chemistry
- Entropy changes
- Redox 2
- Transition metals
Section 8: Kinetics, chirality and carbonyl compounds
- Kinetics 2
- Carbonyl compounds
Section 9: Carboxylic acids, arenes and amines
- Carboxylic acids and their derivatives
- Arenes – benzene compounds
- Arenes, amides, amino acids and proteins
Section 10: Organic synthesis and modern analytical techniques
- Organic synthesis
- Modern analytical techniques 2
You’ll have access to support from a personal tutor. All NEC tutors are subject experts, with experience of 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
- Edexcel 9CH0
- Online learning with support from a personal tutor
- Complete at your own pace
- Approx. 250-300* 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:
- 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
- Maths Skills for A level Chemistry, D McGowan and E Poole, Nelson Thornes, 2013
- Internet access
- Computer operating system and browser to support learn@nec
Our course fees are open and honest to help you plan for any additional costs.
Your course fee includes:
- Access to learn@nec
- All the course materials you need to complete the course
- Support from a personal tutor for up to 24 months from your date of enrolment
- Assignment marking
- Marking for one past paper
- Guaranteed exam place
- Free e-book version of the essential textbooks
- NEC’s guide to study skills: How to Succeed as an Independent Learner
- Spelling, punctuation and grammar guide
- Time planner to help you plan your study timetable
- Information on how to apply for exams
Your course fee does not cover:
- Exam entry fees
- Additional textbooks
- Equipment for core practicals
- Additional past paper marking
- Revision tutorial
- Optional tutorial
- Additional review
- UCAS application service
Exams and assessment
- 30% of marks (1 hour 45 minutes)
- 30% of marks (1 hour 45 minutes)
- 40% of marks (2 hours 30 minutes)
The exams are written, with no practical element, but throughout the exam you will be expected to use your understanding of practical theory – gained through the 19 core practicals within your course – to answer questions.
Non-exam assessment (NEA):
- an additional assessment providing opportunity to gain a practical skills endorsement to demonstrate practical skills as well as knowledge
- separately endorsed and reported as a separate grade
- does not contribute to the result of the A level qualification
- for some university programmes, like medicine, you will need to have the endorsement as well as the A level
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 the parents are involved, so when you enrol your child with NEC, you’ll have a unique set of services to help you to support your child.
- Your own log in to learn@nec to access the course so you can view the course materials and other information for yourself.
- Access to your child’s gradebook to help you to monitor progress and provide appropriate and timely intervention and support
- You’ll receive emails and forum posts so that you have all the examination and assessment updates/information provided by the NEC team
- Dedicated Parent Portal Pages and targeted blogs with updates/information/help and advice on many aspects of home education.
- Access to the Kudos career platform for young learners to explore career choices.
Who is this course for?
Our Chemistry 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.
- GCSEs in chemistry (minimum grade 5 / grade B), and maths (minimum grade 4 / grade C); or an equivalent such as Double or Triple Science (minimum grade 5 / grade B), or BTEC Science (minimum grade merit) are recommended
- An ability to read and write in English
- 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.
Questions and answers
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