International AS / A-level Chemistry

A Level Chemistry

This qualification allows clear progression to further study by giving students the knowledge and skills required at university for subjects such as chemistry, medicine or chemical engineering.

The specification is split into three areas: Physical, Organic and Inorganic chemistry, mirroring the way that universities often split the content.

Students must carry out 10 required practical activities in the course. The practicals are not constrained, allowing each school to choose resources and equipment that best suit their circumstances.

Practicals in this specification include investigating enthalpy changes, making products and testing for different functional groups. Exam questions will be asked on the practicals, but there is no coursework or practical exam.

A range of question styles are used. Extended calculation questions allow students to demonstrate both their maths skills and logical thinking. Extended writing questions allow students to demonstrate the depth of their knowledge. In addition, multiple choice questions are included at the end of the papers, allowing students to manage their time.

This qualification is available for teaching now in Bahrain, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.


Unit 1: Inorganic 1 and Physical 1 (AS)
Unit 2: Organic 1 and Physical 1 (AS)

Unit 3: Inorganic 2 and Physical 2 (A2)
Unit 4: Organic 2 and Physical 2 (A2)
Unit 5: Practical and synoptic (A2)


  • Candidates may re-sit a unit any number of times.
  • The best result for each unit will count towards the final qualification.

Syllabus summary

Physical chemistry

  • Atomic structure
  • Amount of substance
  • Bonding
  • Energetics
  • Kinetics
  • Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier's principle and Kc
  • Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
  • Thermodynamics (A-level only)  
  • Rate equations (A-level only)
  • Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems (A-level only)
  • Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells (A-level only)
  • Acids and bases (A-level only)  

Inorganic chemistry

  • Periodicity
  • Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
  • Group 7(17), the halogens
  • Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides
  • Transition metals (A-level only)
  • Reactions of ions in aqueous solution (A-level only)

Organic chemistry

  • Introduction to organic chemistry
  • Alkanes
  • Halogenoalkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Alcohols
  • Organic analysis
  • Optical isomerism (A-level only)
  • Aldehydes and ketones (A-level only)
  • Carboxylic acids and derivatives (A-level only)
  • Aromatic chemistry (A-level only) 
  • Amines (A-level only)  
  • Polymers (A-level only)  
  • Amino acids and proteins (A-level only)  
  • Organic synthesis (A-level only)  
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (A-level only)  
  • Chromatography (A-level only)

Download the complete Oxford AQA International AS / A-level Chemistry specification (PDF, 433 KB).

Resources available with this specification

Oxford International AQA Examinations provides the resources and advice you need to teach the International AS / A-level Chemistry specification effectively.

Switching Guides

Quickly orient yourself with the changes between your old International AS / A-level Chemistry specifications and the new Oxford International AQA Examinations specification.

Scheme of Work

Plan your course with the help of a suggested pathway through the syllabus so you can be sure you are covering the essential content.

Practical Handbook

Get all the help you need to undertake practicals with your class. This guide harmonises the rules and guidance for A-level Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and includes a full glossary of terms.

Subject specific vocabulary

Ensure that everyone is using scientific language correctly with this list of word definitions used in our international A-level science specifications and exam papers (based on ‘The Language of Measurement’ produced by the Association of Science Education).

Command Words

Help students prepare for their exams by accessing definitions to command words used in exams and other assessed tasks.

Marked Exemplars

Prepare your students in exam technique with the help of exemplar student answers and examiner commentaries that show how examiners interpret the mark scheme.

International AS and A-level Chemistry marked exemplars

These exemplars of AQA past papers reflect the Oxford AQA Exams style of assessment. The exemplars show students’ responses in ‘Notes’ and where students have gained or lost marks, with comments that will help teachers to understand the reasons for the mark allocations. Common question types are shown, along with common student errors and misconceptions, as well as answer formats required for students to gain marks.


Exampro is an online database of AQA past paper questions mapped to the new international qualifications, enabling teachers to create their own resources and assessments.

Schools will be given an Exampro username and password when they are approved to teach our qualifications. If you have these credentials you can log in now. If your school is approved to teach our qualifications and you do not know your school’s log-in credentials, contact us.

Enhanced Results Analysis™ tool

Our free Enhanced Results Analysis tool (ERA) gives you instant analysis of your students’ results. You’ll see how students performed in each unit, topic and marks they received for each question. This allows you to see which questions proved the most challenging, or how different classes performed, so you know what areas to focus on in following years. The tool will be available following published results from the first cohort of International AS / A-level Chemistry students in 2018.

Download this specification

(PDF, 642 KB)

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