Chemistry

Chemistry explores and explains the composition and behaviour of matter and the chemical processes that occur on Earth and beyond. Chemistry underpins the production and development of energy, the maintenance of clean air and water, the production of food, medicines and new materials, and the treatment of wastes. 

VCE Chemistry provides for continuing study pathways within the discipline and leads to a range of careers including biochemistry, agriculture, bushfire research, dentistry, dietetics, education, engineering, environmental sciences, forensic science, forestry, horticulture, medicine, metallurgy, meteorology, pharmacy, sports science, toxicology, veterinary science and viticulture.

Students are required to use arithmetic and problem solving skills. On completion of this course students should have skills in teamwork, problem solving, interpreting and presenting information.

Chemistry Unit 1 and 2 has two exams, one at mid-year and one at the end of the year.

Chemistry Unit 3 and 4 has one external exam at the end of the year.

Major Topics covered in Unit 1 and 2:

  • Knowledge of the elements to explain properties of matter for specific purposes.
  • Nanotechnology is explored, from bullet proof vests to self-cleaning windows.
  • Explore interactions with water, including solubility, acid base, redox and the writing of balanced equations and instrumental analysis.
  • Students take part in an investigation into water quality.

The course includes a day performing analytical chemistry at Victorian Space Science Education Centre, as well as practical demonstrations and activities.

Major Topics covered in Unit 3 and 4 (this is the new curriculum for 2017):

  • Optimising energy production and efficiency in chemical processes with rate and yield.
  • Fossil fuel, biofuel, electrolysis, galvanic cells and fuel cells.
  • Analysis of organic compounds with mass spec, infra-red, NMR and chromatography.
  • Food chemistry, biomolecules, enzymes, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and calorimetry.

The course includes practical demonstrations and activities.

Pre-requisite subjects: There is no prerequisite for entry to Chemistry Unit 1, 2 or 3. Students entering Unit 2 or 3 without Unit 1 and 2 may be required to undertake additional reading and exercises as prescribed by their teacher.

Fees – The excursion to the Victorian Space Science Centre to perform instrumental analyses has a fee.

For further information, click on the Study Summary link that will take you directly to the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) website.

Science in Action photo gallery-click here