A-Level (Age 16-18)

A Level Chemistry provides a relatively in-depth understanding the world around us, and its future. Scientific understanding is changing our lives, but it is also important to appreciate the sustainability of scientific developments for our future.

The resources on this page link chemistry research and ‘real-world’ chemistry to topics from the A-Level National Curriculum. The resources are free to download, modify and use under a Creative Commons License. Please feel free to contact us to request classroom visits, advice or Skype links to our researchers.

Please also check out our Resources for Students for things you can share with your A-level classes.


Biopolymers for Cancer

This activity compares two seaweed extracts (polymers called alginate) to see which might be better at absorbing iron. Dietary iron is known to be a risk factor for bowel cancer and research at the University of Birmingham is showing how alginate from seaweed might be able to help.

Curriculum Topics: Working scientifically, polymers, covalent bonding, ions, lifestyle risk factors, medicine development 


Designing sustainable synthesis 

Learn how scientist are trying to make chemistry more sustainable .


Detection of dyes in leaves

Explore the natural compounds that exist in leaves and use chromatography to separate them out.

Curriculum Topics: Working scientifically, chromatography, organic molecules


Detection of proteins and saccharides

Proteins and saccharides are fascinating molecules that are essential for life. Learn about their structures and try some experiments to detect them!

Curriculum Topics: Working scientifically, organic molecules, natural products, proteins, sugars


Nanotech for cleaning and sensing

Explore a natural nanostructured material and learn how scientists are copying that material to make self-cleaning materials and sensors for prostate cancer.

Curriculum Topics: Working scientifically, nanotechnology

Chromatography of painkiller drugs

Analyse the components of a painkiller drug compared to known standards using TLC.

Curriculum Topics: Thin layer chromatography

Biro column chromatography

Perform chromatography an empty biro case to separate ink into its coloured components.

More A Level resources

For general Chemistry resources and CPD opportunities for teachers, take a look at the RSC Learn Chemistry site.

If you are interested in resources for A Level science practical assessments, take a look at the University of Birmingham’s science resources here, where there are useful videos covering the acid-base titrations, reaction rates, electrochemical cells, and the preparation of organic solids.

Beyond A Level….

If you are interested to see what careers an A Level in Chemistry can lead on to, take a look at the ‘Future in Chemistry‘ profiles on the Royal Society of Chemistry website. More careers information relating to careers in science can be found on BP’s website.

Have you ever wondered what it is like to study a Degree in Chemistry? If so, take a look at this useful video showing a day in the life of a chemistry student, at the University of Birmingham.

More experiments can be found in the main experiments tab.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.