Chemistry (Higher)

Why study Chemistry?

Chemistry is vital to everyday life and allows us to understand and shape the world in which we live. You will learn about the applications of chemistry in everyday contexts such as medicine, energy and industry, as well as its impact on the environment and sustainability. You will learn how to think creatively and independently, and analyse and solve problems.

What do I need to get in?

Entry is at the discretion of the school or college but you would normally be expected to have:

What will I study?

This course develops scientific understanding of issues relating to chemistry, and uses the development of chemical theory to provide you with an extensive set of skills. Through application of a detailed knowledge and understanding of chemical concepts, in practical situations, you will develop an appreciation of the impact of chemistry on everyday life.

The course consists of four areas of study.

Chemical changes and structure

Topics covered: Periodicity; structure and bonding; oxidising and reducing agents.

Nature’s chemistry

Topics covered: Systematic carbon chemistry; alcohols; carboxylic acids; esters; fats and oils; soaps; detergents and emulsions; proteins; oxidation of food; fragrances; skin care.

Chemistry in society

Topics covered: Getting the most from reactants; controlling the rate; chemical energy; equilibria; chemical analysis.

Researching chemistry

Topics covered: Common chemical apparatus; general practical techniques; reporting experimental work.

How will I be assessed?

The course assessment has three components totalling 140 marks:

  • Component 1: question paper 1 (multiple choice) – worth 25 marks
  • Component 2: question paper 2 – worth 95 marks
  • Component 3: assignment – worth 20 marks.

For the assignment component, you will research a topic and write a report based on your findings. Your research must involve both experimental work and gathering data/information from the internet, books or journals.

Both the question paper and the assignment are set and externally marked by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

The grade awarded is based on the total marks achieved across course assessment.

The course assessment is graded A-D.

Study Materials

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