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Chemistry is the branch of science that deals with the composition, properties and behaviour of matter.

Chemistry studies the atom and the ways in which interactions between atoms are related to the properties of chemical bonds formed between species. Chemists are concerned with the reactions between substances, their accompanying energy exchange and the laws that unite these phenomena.

Mr G Brett
Head of Chemistry
[email protected]

“Chemistry at Dereham Sixth Form College has been one of my best post-16 choices – both the content and teacher support provided by the College has helped me countless times during the course. Having enjoyed this subject at high school, the transition from GCSE content to A Level content was very manageable, even if at times challenging. A Level Chemistry suits my style of learning very well – as a visual learner and one who enjoys there being a set ‘right or wrong’ answer, my Year 12 studies have been flexible enough to cater towards my preferred style. Personally, I enjoy the explicitness of chemistry. There’s very little reading between the lines in the core content and there is always an answer to ‘why?’ DSFC has really helped me realise my love for the sciences and has encouraged me to continue them in higher education.” (Rose)

Please note: Mr Russell is the former Head of Chemistry. Mr Brett is the current Head of Chemistry.

The Course
Chemistry is often referred to as the central science joining together physics, mathematics, biology, medicine and the earth and environmental sciences. We aim to develop essential understanding of the concepts in chemistry and the skills needed to apply these in new and changing situations. Most laboratory-based jobs benefit from a chemistry qualification and success at Chemistry A Level is viewed as a clear indication of high academic ability. This makes it an excellent subject when applying to university and students with an A Level in Chemistry have gone on to study a wide range of subjects – chemical engineering, medicine, veterinary medicine, environmental science, accountancy, law and banking, to name a few.

Chemistry is a popular and well-resourced subject. The quality of teaching and support students receive are reflected in consistently good results.

We follow the OCR A specification, a course which combines an effective balance of knowledge, understanding and practical skills.


Year 1

In the first year you will study some key areas of chemistry to provide a firm foundation for further study:


  • Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations, bonding and structure
  • Acid-base and redox reactions
  • The periodic table and periodicity
  • Enthalpy changes, reaction rates and equilibrium
  • Core organic chemistry

Year 2

In the second year the main chemical concepts are developed in greater depth:

  • Acids, bases, pH and buffers
  • Rates of reactions, equilibria, enthalpy, entropy and free energy
  • Redox and electrode potentials
  • Transition elements
  • Organic chemistry, chromatography and spectroscopy
Destinations of some of our A Level Chemistry students
  • Chemistry at York University
  • Geography at the University of Cambridge
  • Chemical Engineering at the University of Surrey
  • Veterinary Science at the University of Cambridge
  • Mathematics at the University of Nottingham
  • Law at Warwick University
Popular careers

Medicine; Biomedicine; Chemical Engineering; Pharmacology; Forensics; Education; Law; Biochemistry; Veterinary Science.

Three written exams and a non-exam, teacher assessed practical endorsement for Chemistry.

Entry Requirements
Minimum 66555 including 6 in Chemistry (or Combined Science) and 5 in Mathematics.