Levels offered: National 3, National 4, National 5, Higher, Advanced Higher
This course is practical and experiential and develops scientific understanding of issues relating to chemistry. The course uses the development of chemical theory to build an extensive set of skills for learners. Through application of a detailed knowledge and understanding of chemical concepts, in practical situations, learners develop an appreciation of the impact of chemistry on their everyday lives. The course develops learners’ interest in and enthusiasm for chemistry through a variety of contexts relevant to chemistry’s impact on society, namely: utilising nature’s resources, chemical analysis, and the development of new and novel applications.
Who might choose this subject?
Pupils who have a keen interest in any aspect of chemistry (such as elements and compounds, medicine and energy) would enjoy this subject. As a chemist, you would use your knowledge to develop products and processes in a wide range of areas, such as saving lives through development of new medicines, analysing the environment and investigating climate change, protecting health by keeping water supplies clean, creating new products and controlling quality in the food industry, and finding ways to dispose of industrial waste safely. Chemists also invent new artificial fibres and plastics, diagnose and treat illness and disease in the healthcare sector, analyse forensic evidence in criminal investigations, and also go into teaching, lecturing and academic research.
National 3: To achieve the National 3 course, learners must pass all of the required three Units. There is no course assessment for National 3. National 3 has no external SQA exam paper and is not graded.
National 4: To achieve the National 4 course, learners must pass all of the required Units, including the Added Value Unit. National 4 has no external SQA exam paper and is not graded.
National 5: To achieve the National 5 course, learners must pass all of the required Units and the course assessment which is graded A to D. The course assessment will consist of two components: an assignment (20%) and a question paper (80%). Both will be externally SQA assessed. Each component will assess both skills and knowledge and understanding. The question paper will have a greater emphasis on knowledge and understanding while the assignment will have a greater emphasis on skills.
Higher: To achieve the Higher course, learners must pass all of the required Units, the assignment, and the course assessment which is graded A to D. The assignment and exam marks are added together to give a total out of 120 marks. This total mark determines the grade awarded.
Advanced Higher: To achieve the Advanced Higher course, learners must complete two components – the course assessment and the research project. The research project allows learners to carry out an in-depth, individual investigation of a chemistry topic and
produce a project report.