Course Description

Chemistry is the study of the physical and chemical properties of matter, with a focus on substances and their interactions. Chemistry attempts to provide chemical explanations and to predict events at the atomic and molecular level.

The Preliminary course develops a knowledge of atomic structure, chemical changes, rates of reaction and relationships between substances by focusing on increasing students' understanding of the Earth's resources, the development of increasingly sophisticated methods to extract and use metals, the importance of water on Earth and high energy carbon compounds.

The HSC course builds on the concepts developed in the Preliminary course, expanding on areas such as the search for new sources of traditional materials, the design and production of new materials, the management and monitoring of chemicals that have been developed and/or released as a result of human technological activity and the way in which environmental problems could be reversed or minimised. The options cover a variety of interest areas and draw on the increased information and understanding provided by improved technology to examine areas of current research.

Exclusions: Senior Science (Preliminary only)

Topics Covered

Preliminary Course

Chemistry Skills Module 8.1

Core Modules
  • The Chemical Earth
  • Metals
  • Water
  • Energy

HSC Course

Chemistry Skills Module 9.1

Core Modules
  • Production of Materials
  • The Acidic Environment
  • Chemical Monitoring and Management
One Option from the following modules:
  • Industrial Chemistry
  • Shipwrecks, Corrosion and Conservation
  • The Biochemistry of Movement
  • The Chemistry of Art
  • Forensic Chemistry

Particular Course Requirements

Each module specifies content which provides opportunities for students to achieve the Chemistry skill outcomes. Chemistry modules 8.1 (Preliminary) and 9.1 (HSC) provide the skills content that must be addressed within and across each course.

Students will complete a minimum of 80 indicative hours of practical experiences across Preliminary and HSC course time with no less than 35 hours in the HSC course. Practical experiences must include at least one open-ended investigation in both the Preliminary and HSC Courses.

Fact sheet

Further Information

HSC Exam