IGCSE Chemistry

The course

Chemistry supplies you with the knowledge and understanding so that you can engage with science- based issues in an informed way. By studying the course, gain greater scientific literacy by using contemporary and relevant contexts of interest such as environmental issues. You will study the patterns and properties of the elements and how these combine to produce useful materials. Throughout the course you will develop practical skills, powers of analysis and the ability to apply chemical concepts to an unfamiliar context. The IGCSE will provide you with an exceptional standard of education which is both modern and relevant. It will also prepare you properly for the study of Chemistry at an advanced level. 

GCSE Chemistry is divided into five sections. In Section 1 (Principles of chemistry), you will look at the structure of atoms and compounds, chemical formulae and equations and how to calculate the masses of substances and volumes of gases. In Section 2 (Chemistry: the elements), you will look at the periodic table, with a particular focus on groups 1 and 7. You will also look at hydrogen, oxygen and oxides, and water. Section 3 (Organic chemistry) looks at the chemistry of carbon. You will look at the two different types of organic compounds: alkanes, alkenes and ethanol. Section 4 (Physical chemistry) looks at acids, alkalis and salts and chemical reactions: reaction rates and the ideas of equilibrium and reversibility. Finally, in Section 5 (Chemistry in society), you will look at how metals are extracted and used, the chemistry of crude oil, synthetic polymers and the industrial manufacture of chemicals.

What skills do I need?

A scientific background is useful but not essential. You should have inquisitive mind and desire to make discoveries through investigation. You should have the ability to follow a logical sequence of instructions and to be able to recall factual material.

How is the course assessed?

There are two written papers consisting of short structured questions. Both papers cover all five sections. The Unit 1 paper lasts 2 hours and is worth 66% of the total marks. The Unit 2 paper lasts 1 hour and is worth 33% of the total marks. There is no practical coursework.


Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry (Student Book)
By J. Clark
Published by Edexcel, ISBN 978-0435966898

Edexcel International GCSEs in Chemistry Students Book
By G. Hill, R.Wensley
Published by Hodder Education, ISBN 9781444179149

Exam Board and Specification Code

Pearson-Edexcel 4CH0

Rebecca Tanney
Head of Department