Chemistry Department

Chemistry is the branch of natural science that deals with the study of matter. It is about the study of the compositions and properties of substances, and how they react with one another. Chemistry is also known as the Central Science as it connects the other natural sciences such as physics, astronomy, biology, life sciences, and geology.


It is often called the central science as chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems. Apart from being a subject worthy of study in its own right, chemistry is often a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, biological science and environmental science.

Through studying a science subject student’s should become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other. While the scientific method may take on a wide variety of forms, the emphasis on a practical approach. In addition, through the overarching theme of the “Nature of Science” this knowledge and skills will be put into the context of way science and scientists work in the 21st century and the ethical debates and limitations of creative scientific endeavor.

The sciences are taught practically. Students have opportunities to design investigations, collect data, develop manipulative skills, analyze results, collaborate with peers and evaluate and communicate their findings. The investigations may be laboratory based or they may make use of simulations and data bases. Students develop the skills to work independently on their own design, but also collegiately, including collaboration with schools in different regions, to mirror the way in which scientific research is conducted in the wider community.

Key Features Of The Curriculum And Assessment Models

  • Available at standard (SL) and higher levels (HL).
  • The minimum prescribed number of hours is 150 for SL and 240 for HL.
  • Students are assessed both externally and internally.
  • Chemistry students at SL and HL undertake a common core syllabus and a common internal assessment (IA) scheme.
  • While there are core skills and activities common to both SL and HL students, students at HL are required to study the options and some topics in greater depth as well as some additional topics. The distinction between SL and HL is one of breadth and depth.
  • A practical approach to the course delivery is emphasized through the interdisciplinary group 4 project and a mixture of both short-term and long-term experiments and investigations.
  • Internal assessment accounts for 20% of the final assessment and this is assessed through a single individual investigation. This investigation may involve a hands-on approach, use of data-bases, modelling, simulation or a hybrid. Student work is internally assessed by the teacher and externally
    moderated by the IB.

Higher Level (240 Hours)

Internal assessment (individual investigation): 20%
External assessment: 80%

Standard Level (150 Hours)

Internal assessment (individual investigation): 20%
External assessment: 80%