Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. It is 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 a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, biological science and environmental science, and serves as useful preparation for employment.
All students undertake both theory and practical work as they complement one another naturally, both in school and in the wider scientific community. The DP chemistry course allows students to develop a wide range of practical skills and to increase facility in the use of mathematics. It also allows students to develop interpersonal and information technology skills, which are essential to life in the 21st century.
By studying chemistry students should become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other. While the scientific method may take on a wide variety of forms, it is the emphasis on a practical approach through experimental work that characterizes the subject.
Chemistry provides students with opportunities to develop manipulative skills, design investigations, collect data, analyse results and evaluate and communicate their findings.
Through the overarching theme of the nature of science, the aims of the DP chemistry course are to enable students to:
- appreciate scientific study and creativity within a global context through stimulating and challenging opportunities
- acquire a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize science and technology
- apply and use a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize science and technology
- develop an ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesize scientific information
- develop a critical awareness of the need for, and the value of, effective collaboration and communication during scientific activities
- develop experimental and investigative scientific skills including the use of current technologies
- develop and apply 21st century communication skills in the study of science
- become critically aware, as global citizens, of the ethical implications of using science and technology
- develop an appreciation of the possibilities and limitations of science and technology
- develop an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and their influence on other areas of knowledge.
Distinction between SL and HL
Group 4 students at SL and HL undertake a common core syllabus, a common internal assessment (IA) scheme and have some overlapping elements in the option studied. They are presented with a syllabus that encourages the development of certain skills, attributes and attitudes.
While the skills and activities of group 4 science subjects are common to students at both SL and HL, students at HL are required to study some topics in greater depth, in the additional higher level material and in the common options. The distinction between SL and HL is one of breadth and depth.
Group 4 Project
All Diploma Course candidates must participate in an interdisciplinary investigation into the nature and process of science. This is a collaborative investigation including students from all three disciplines.
|Core (SL and HL)||Additional higher level||Option (choice of 1 out of 4)|
|1. Stoichiometric relationships||12. Atomic structure||A. Materials|
|2. Atomic structure||13. The periodic table—the transition metals||B. Biochemistry|
|3. Periodicity||14. Chemical bonding and structure||C. Energy|
|4. Chemical bonding and structure||15. Energetics/thermochemistry||D. Medicinal chemistry|
|5. Energetics/thermochemistry||16. Chemical kinetics|
|6. Chemical kinetics||17. Equilibrium|
|7. Equilibrium||18. Acids and bases|
|8. Acids and bases||19. Redox processes|
|9. Redox processes||20. Organic chemistry|
|10. Organic chemistry||21. Measurement and analysis|
|11. Measurement and data processing|
Assessment at Standard Level
|Paper 1 MCQ (45 minutes)||20%|
|Paper 2 (1 hour and 15 minutes)||40%|
|Paper 3 (1 hour)||20%|
|Research project (10 hours)||20%|
Assessment at Higher Level
|Paper 1 MCQ (1 hour)||20%|
|Paper 2 (2 hour and 15 minutes)||36%|
|Paper 3 (1 hour and 15 minutes)||24%|
|Research project (10 hours)||20%|