Chemistry is the study of materials and substances and the transformations they undergo through interactions and the transfer of energy. Chemists can use an understanding of chemical structures and processes to adapt, control and manipulate systems to meet particular economic, environmental and social needs. This includes addressing the global challenges of climate change and security of water, food and energy supplies, and designing processes to maximise the efficient use of Earth’s finite resources. Chemistry develops students’ understanding of the key chemical concepts and models of structure, bonding, and chemical change, including the role of chemical, electrical and thermal energy. Students learn how models of structure and bonding enable chemists to predict properties and reactions and to adapt these for particular purposes.

View Syllabus on School Curriculum and Standards Authority Website

Year 11

Unit 1 – Chemical fundamentals: structure, properties and reactions

In this unit, students use models of atomic structure and bonding to explain the macroscopic properties of materials. Students develop their understanding of the energy changes associated with chemical reactions and the use of chemical equations to calculate the masses of substances involved in chemical reactions.

Unit 2 – Molecular interactions and reactions

In this unit, students continue to develop their understanding of bonding models and the relationship between structure, properties and reactions, including consideration of the factors that affect the rate of chemical reactions.

Year 12

Unit 3 – Equilibrium, acids and bases, and redox reactions

In this unit, students investigate the concept of reversibility of reactions and the dynamic nature of equilibrium in chemical systems; contemporary models of acid-base behaviour that explain their properties and uses; and the principles of oxidation and reduction reactions, including the generation of electricity from electrochemical cells.

Unit 4 – Organic chemistry and chemical synthesis

In this unit, students develop their understanding of the relationship between the structure, properties and chemical reactions of different organic functional groups. Students also investigate the process of chemical synthesis to form useful substances and products and the need to consider a range of factors in the design of these processes.