Higher Chemistry

The Higher Chemistry Course develops learners’ curiosity, interest and enthusiasm for chemistry in a range of contexts. The skills of scientific inquiry and investigation are developed throughout the Course, and the relevance of chemistry is highlighted by the study of the applications of chemistry in everyday contexts.

The course comprises four units:

Chemical Changes and Structure (Higher)
This Unit covers the knowledge and understanding of controlling reaction rates and periodic trends, and strengthens the learner’s ability to make reasoned evaluations by recognising underlying patterns and principles. Learners will investigate collision theory and the use of catalysts in reactions. Learners will explore the concept of electro-negativity and intra-molecular and intermolecular forces. The connection between bonding and a material’s physical properties is investigated.

Researching Chemistry (Higher) 
This Unit covers the key skills necessary to undertake research in chemistry. Learners will research the relevance of chemical theory to everyday life by exploring the chemistry behind a topical issue. Learners will develop the key skills associated with collecting and synthesising information from a number of different sources. Equipped with the knowledge of common chemistry apparatus and techniques, they will plan and undertake a practical investigation related to a topical issue. Using their scientific literacy skills, learners will communicate their results and conclusions.

Nature’s Chemistry (Higher)
This Unit covers the knowledge and understanding of organic chemistry within the context of the chemistry of food and the chemistry of everyday consumer products, soaps, detergents, fragrances and skincare. The relationship between the structure of organic compounds, their physical and chemical properties and their uses are investigated. Key functional groups and types of organic reaction are covered.

Chemistry in Society (Higher) 
This Unit covers the knowledge and understanding of the principles of physical chemistry which allow a chemical process to be taken from the researcher’s bench through to industrial production. Learners will calculate quantities of reagents and products, percentage yield and the atom economy of processes. They will develop skills to manipulate dynamic equilibria and predict enthalpy changes. Learners will investigate the ability of substances to act as oxidising or reducing agents and their use in analytical chemistry through the context of volumetric titrations. Learners will use analytical chemistry to determine the purity of reagents and products.