Chemistry is the study of matter at the level of atoms, molecules, ions and compounds. These substances are the building blocks of life and make up all of the materials that surround us.  Chemistry research and development is essential for the introduction of new products. An experimental and investigative approach is used to develop knowledge and understanding of chemical concepts.

The study of chemistry is of benefit not only to those intending to pursue a career in science, but also to those intending to work in areas such as the food, health, textile or manufacturing industries.

National 5 

The purpose of the course is to develop candidates’ curiosity, interest and enthusiasm for chemistry in a range of contexts. The skills of scientific inquiry are integrated and developed throughout the course. The relevance of chemistry is highlighted by the study of the applications of chemistry in everyday contexts. This enables candidates to become scientifically literate citizens, able to review the science-based claims they will meet. The course offers opportunities for candidates to develop the ability to think analytically and to make reasoned evaluations.

The course content includes the following areas of chemistry:

Chemical changes and structure

In this area, topics covered are: rates of reaction; atomic structure and bonding related to properties of materials; formulae and reacting quantities; acids and bases.

Nature’s chemistry

In this area, topics covered are: homologous series; everyday consumer products; energy from fuels.

Chemistry in society

In this area, topics covered are: metals; plastics; fertilisers; nuclear chemistry; chemical analysis.