This course focusses on three different areas of chemistry: 


  • Unit 1 – Chemical Changes and Structure 

This topic looks at the elements within the periodic table, how their reactivity is linked to their position within the periodic table. Writing chemical formulae and chemical equations is also developed within this unit. It then deals with observing and monitoring rates of chemical reactions by looking at the effects temperature, concentration, particle size and catalysts have on the rate of a chemical reaction. Core scientific skills such as putting data into a table, predicting and drawing graphs are also built throughout this unit. 


  • Unit 2 – Nature’s Chemistry: Fossil Fuels and Hydrocarbons 

This topic looks at the formation of fossil fuels, how crude oil is separated into different fractions with different uses and what those fractions are used for. The environmental impact of burning fossil fuels is also covered within this topic with the opportunity to problem solve the possibilities of alternative energy sources. This topic then looks specifically at the types of molecules within hydrocarbons: their structures, names and general reactivity. 


  • Unit 3 – Acids and Bases 

This topic builds on the knowledge developed about acids and alkalis in S2 by looking at the chemistry that happens at the molecular level. Colourful practical experiments allow for acids and bases to be identified from their pH and their uses understood. How acids and bases are formed is also covered before investigating what products are formed when acids and bases react. Analytical chemistry techniques are also developed in this topic as titration experiments are carried out to accurately identify unknown concentrations of chemicals. 




S3 Chemistry will give the students more opportunities to interact with the materials of the world around us and understand why jewellery cannot be made from potassium metal but from gold instead; or why crude oil stored under the sea bed can’t be put straight into cars as petrol; or why table salt can be formed by the reaction between an acid and an alkali.  

This course includes written theory and practical work and requires students to learn and understand concepts and explain their reasoning thoroughly, using the terminology required by a chemistry course. 

This course is designed for people with a keen interest in chemistry that will enable them to develop their practical science skills, problem solving skills, analytical thinking skills as well as their teamwork and communication.  

Chemistry would be a good choice for someone interested in completing practical experiments to help them understand the chemistry that is in the world around them. 


Everything you need to know before selecting this course


Homework is given regularly and when relevant to what has been covered in class. This can be found on Show My Homework, and on your class team. Often you will have a separate jotter for homework. 

How you will be assessed

You will have the opportunity to be assessed continuously in class as you demonstrate your knowledge through answering and asking questions and completing practical work. You will also have tests at the end of each unit. 


Everything you need to know about future pathways from this course


The skills and knowledge you learn in S3 Chemistry are directly applicable to other STEM subjects which would allow for progression within these fields whilst also being suitable for studies and careers which require teamwork, communication, problem solving and analytical thinking. 

S4 and beyond

Moving into S4, pupils progress onto the National 4/5 Chemistry course which further develops their knowledge of chemistry, building on what has been covered in S3. Pupils may also opt for the NPA course which focusses on science within a practical context. 


Information from pupils who have studied this course as to how they feel it was.

Callum - S3

I enjoy chemistry and I wanted to keep doing it. I enjoy the range of tasks we are given because it’s not just book work. It’s a good course if you enjoyed chemistry in S1 and S2. 

Working in Lab

Ananya - S3

I picked chemistry this year because it interested me. I have enjoyed doing experiments the most. Some of the equations are hard but it is interesting and good.