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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.

  • National 3
  • National 4
  • National 5
  • Higher

    The world we live in has been shaped by chemistry. Medicines, materials that allow us to communicate electronically, and the clothes we wear all demonstrate the power of chemistry to make our lives better.  It is an important subject in many careers such as medicine, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, environmental science, sport science and the food industry and plastic manufacture. Chemists help to understand the world and develop solutions to the problems facing modern society. Some of the work of chemists over recent years has included identifying environmental problems like the hole in the ozone layer and the role of greenhouse gases; developing drugs for previously untreatable diseases and the continuing search to improve our quality of life - without burdening the environment.  Successful chemists think creatively, analyse and solve problems by working individually and in groups where they will apply critical thinking in situations to develop their learning.

    Levels available -             National 4, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.

    Course Outline Both National 4 and National 5

    The courses consist of knowledge, problem solving and experimental practical skills.  You will develop scientific understanding of issues relating to chemistry, consequently becoming scientifically literate.

    Both presentation levels will study the same three core areas of work and an assignment/research

  • 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.

  • Learners will extend and apply their knowledge and skills through practical experimental work and research of ‘rates of chemical reactions’ OR ‘making electricity’.



    National 4 learners must have previously been successful at Level 3 and, if successful, can possibly progress onto National 5 (S5) and then Higher (S6)            

    National 5 learners must have previously been successful at Level 4 or 5 and, if successful, can possibly progress onto Higher (S5) and then Advanced Higher (S6)

    Assessment Requirements

    •             Continuous class and homework assessment

    •             Successful completion of internal assessments

    •             Completed Added Value Project

    •             No final SQA examination           

    •             Continuous class and homework assessment

    •             Successful completion of internal unit assessments

    •             Completion of Added Value Assignment

    •             SQA Course Examination (2.5 hours)

    Possible careers

    •             Forensic scientist

    •             Doctor

    •             Chemistry Teacher

    •             Development chemist

    •             Biochemist         

    •             Environmental scientist

    •             Scientific laboratory technician

    •             Chemical Engineer

    •             Research analysts

    •             Dietician              

    •             Pharmacist

    •             Analytical chemist

    •             Dentist

    •             Toxicologist

    •             Materials scientist

    Links to further info

    National 4 SQA -

    National 4 Bitesize -

    National 5 SQA -

    National 5 Bitesize –

    Twitter: @StMungoScience