You will do a series of experiments to learn about how different chemicals react together and what causes these reactions to occur at different rates. You will also learn how to make predictions about chemicals based upon their properties.
In this topic you will look at the atomic structure of different substances and how they join together. You will then be able to use this knowledge to explain the physical properties of elements. You will also learn why some elements are more reactive than others and take part in practical activities on electrical conductivity, melting and boiling point to explore the effects of bonding.
You will learn about the uses of acids in food and drink and their impact on health. In addition you will understand how acids and alkalis are formed from oxides. This subtopic also looks at how our carbon footprint can have an impact on our lives and the planet as a whole and what we can do to control this.
This topic will look at the formation and extraction of crude oil. You will learn how we get a range of chemicals such as petrol and diesel from crude oil but you will also learn about their environmental impact. Following this you will learn about alternative fuels such as biodiesel and biomass, and how they are produced. You will even get to produce your own alternative fuels in the classroom.
Chemicals such as petrol, diesel and paraffin all belong to a group called hydrocarbons. In this topic you will learn that although these chemicals contain all of the same elements, the way in which they are arranged gives them very different properties. You will investigate how different structures give the chemicals these different properties.
By learning about conductivity and other properties of metals you will be able to identify possible uses of a wide variety of metals. You will also look at how metals are extracted from ores and how their reactivity makes this process easier. Plastics are an extremely important and common group of materials. In this unit you will learn how they are made and look at new plastics which can biodegrade and also look at the potential uses of many new and exciting “novel materials” Plants require certain elements to survive and in this unit you will learn how these elements get into the soil using fertilisers and carry out an investigation using fertilisers made in the class. You will also learn about the uses of radioactive elements and also their benefits and potential disadvantages. For example, carbon dating can be used to date some substances, in this unit you will learn how this is done, in addition to looking at the more conventional uses such as the production of electricity.
The National 4 course will be internally assessed. You will sit assessments and gather evidence over the course of the 2 years. There is no final exam.
The National 5 the course will be externally assessed. The units done as part of the course will also be assessed to check your level of understanding of each unit.
If you are successful at achieving a National 4 qualification in Chemistry can progress to any of the sciences at National 5 level.
Those successful in achieving a National 5 qualification in Chemistry can progress to Higher Chemistry.
Chemistry qualifications can be used in a wide variety of careers such as:
This one year Higher course consists of three Units: Chemistry in Society, Chemical Changes and Structure and Nature’s Chemistry. Students sit tests at the end of each unit and an overall examination at the end of the course which lead to course awards in Higher Chemistry.
This is a very demanding but rewarding one year chemistry course. It consists of coursework, experimental work and an investigation. It is excellent preparation for University study not only in Chemistry but for other subjects too. Students are given lectures on content as in Universities but are encouraged to ask questions. This helps to bridge the gap between School and University. Students are encouraged to plan their laboratory work with the teacher acting as advisor.
Students taking medical and veterinary courses at university are usually required to take Advanced Higher Chemistry during S6.
Chemistry occupies the central position in science because of its very strong links with both Biology and Physics. A chemistry qualification is a frequently quoted entrance requirement and combined with another science gives students a very flexible choice of further education courses. Chemistry often supports study in areas which initially may seem unconnected, eg engineering and is essential in medical/biological areas including nursing, agriculture, food sciences. Chemistry is also a good qualification in its own right.