Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. 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 a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, biological science and environmental science, and serves as useful preparation for employment. 
The Diploma Programme chemistry course includes the essential principles of the subject , but also through selection of an option, allows teachers some flexibility to tailor the course to meet the needs of their students. The course is available at both standard level (SL) and higher level (HL), and therefore accommodates students who wish to study chemistry as their major subject in higher education and those who do not. 
Group 4 students at standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) undertake a common core syllabus, a common internal assessment (IA) scheme and have some overlapping elements in the option studied 

The aims enable students, through the overarching theme of the Nature of science, to: 

  1. Appreciate scientific study and creativity within a global context through stimulating and challenging opportunities
  2. Acquire a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize science and technology
  3. Apply and use a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize science and technology
  4. Develop an ability to analyze, evaluate and synthesize scientific information
  5. Develop a critical awareness of the need for, and the value of, effective collaboration and communication during scientific activities
  6. Develop experimental and investigative scientific skills including the use of current technologies
  7. Develop and apply 21st century communication skills in the study of science
  8. Become critically aware, as global citizens, of the ethical implications of using science and technology
  9. Develop an appreciation of the possibilities and limitations of science and technology
  10. Develop an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and their influence on other areas of knowledge.


  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
  •     Facts, concepts, and terminology
  •     Methodologies and techniques
  •     Communicating scientific information.
  1. Apply:
  •     Facts, concepts, and terminology
  •     Methodologies and techniques
  •     Methods of communicating scientific information.
  1. Formulate, analyse and evaluate:
  •     Hypotheses, research questions and predictions
  •     Methodologies and techniques
  •     Primary and secondary data
  •     Scientific explanations.
  1. Demonstrate the appropriate research, experimental, and personal skills necessary to carry out insightful and ethical investigations.

Syllabus Outline


  1. Stoichiometric relationships
  2. Atomic structure
  3. Periodicity
  4. Chemical bonding and structure
  5. Energetics/thermochemistry
  6. Chemical kinetics
  7. Equilibrium
  8. Acids and bases
  9. Redox processes
  10. Organic chemistry
  11. Measurement and data processing

Additional higher level (AHL)

  1. Atomic structure
  2. The periodic table—the transition metals
  3. Chemical bonding and structure
  4. Energetics/thermochemistry
  5. Chemical kinetics
  6. Equilibrium
  7. Acids and bases
  8. Redox processes
  9. Organic chemistry
  10. Measurement and analysis


  1. Materials
  2. Biochemistry
  3. Energy
  4. Medicinal chemistry
  5. Practical scheme of work
  6. Practical activities Individual investigation (internal assessment—IA) Group 4 project