A future less ordinary



Our Subject

Studying Chemistry at this level will take you some way to understanding how the universe works, in its basic form. You, for example, are almost entirely composed of just six different elements! At Bilborough you will learn fundamental theory and mathematical methods to help you understand the changes that take place in chemical reactions. Chemistry is also a practical subject, so your learning will be enhanced with lab work and demonstrations. Ours is an impressively resourced department, with state-of-the-art laboratories and five teaching staff with a dazzling thirteen degrees between them. Our students achieve impressive results every year with many achieving the very highest A* grade; up to 40% of students in the top performing classes!

To study Chemistry at Bilborough, you will need to have a B/5 grade in GCSE Maths, in addition to B/5 grades in Core and Applied GCSE Double Science or a B/5 grade in Chemistry GCSE if you are studying triple sciences. In addition, B/5 in English is preferable.

Btec Science Level 2 is not sufficient, but please consider our Btec Science Level 3 courses.

Our links with HE

Because chemical reactions lie at the heart of how living systems function, an A-level in Chemistry is essential for reading Medicine, Veterinary Science and other related degrees. In fact, it is probably the most in-demand A-level for university, with many admissions departments insisting upon an A grade for entry. Bilborough aims to go one further and secure you an A*: our track record shows this is a realistic expectation for our students.

Every year many of our chemists go on to study Medicine, Natural Science and other high-calibre courses at top universities, including Oxbridge. We like staying in touch with our alumni, who return to share their success with current students. Feedback from universities shows that Bilborough College students cope admirably with their degrees, and universities are keen to see more of our star chemists in the future.

Course Structure

We follow the OCR-A specification, assessed with exams at the end of both Year 12 (AS) and Year 13 (A2).

We strive to enhance our students’ learning and CVs with opportunities to go for extra qualifications. If you wish, you can enter for the highly regarded Cambridge Chemistry Challenge which takes place in June in Year 12. In Year 13 there is the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemistry Olympiad – a two-hour exam which really stretches you beyond the normal requirements of A-level.


We push our students well beyond the levels required by other centres. Students complete five hours of challenging homework every week, tackling questions of increasing difficulty, from a diverse range of exam boards.  Our greater depth of study in Chemistry has resulted in spectacular results in the national Chemistry Olympiad with 58 medals in 2013 including 23 silver and two gold (perhaps the best state sector results nationally). The 2013 Cambridge Chemistry Challenge results were equally good with one student achieving the highest possible Roentgenium award (only awarded to the top 48 students in the UK), plus seven Gold awards, five Silver awards and 53 Copper awards.”
–  Bilborough College’s Chemistry department

“I think the encouragement and being pushed by teachers in the Chemistry department has really helped me to achieve higher than my predicted grade in my last two Chemistry exams.”
–  Student

“I’ve really loved all of the lessons, particularly enjoyed the transition metal stuff as the practicals really cemented what I knew and understood to be happening.”
–  Student

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