Chemistry International GCSE

Due to ongoing reforms, the final opportunity to sit exams for this specification is January 2019.

This home study course will introduce you to the basic principles of chemistry and prepare you for the Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry exam. If you intend to study any science in any capacity, an understanding of chemistry will provide you with a good foundation on which to build your knowledge. Our IGCSE Chemistry course looks at the make-up of matter, the way different chemicals interact and form bonds, and some of the chemical processes that bring about changes in chemical structure. If you are thinking of a career in engineering, food processing, pharmaceuticals or medicine, knowledge of chemistry is essential.



Course requirements

No previous knowledge is required for this course. This is an online course so you will also need access to the internet.

Duration of study

As a guideline, you should allow for between 120 and 150 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments. You will have tutor support for a period up until the final exam opportunity in January 2019.


This course follows specification 4CH0 from the awarding organisation Edexcel. Full details of the specification can be obtained from Edexcel's website.


Unit 1 - Introductory skills
  • Acids and indicators
  • Bases, salts and alkalis
  • Oxygen in air
  • Common metals
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Electrolysis
  • Non-metals
  • Chromatography and distillation
  • Flames and combustion

Unit 2 - Basic chemical principles
  • Solids, liquids and gases
  • Mixtures, compounds, separation and purification
  • Elements and the periodic table; chemical formulae
  • Metals and non-metals, atomic structure
  • More formulae and equations
  • Trends in the periodic table

Unit 3 - Chemical resources and pollution
  • Resources
  • Pollution and pesticides
  • Air
  • Water, the chemical

Unit 4 - Metals
  • Metals and their extraction
  • Corrosion and corrosion prevention

Unit 5 - Structure and reactivity
  • Atomic structure
  • Covalent bonding
  • Ionic bonding and metallic crystals
  • Reactivity
  • Acids, bases and salts

Unit 6 - Organic chemistry
  • Organic compounds
  • Alkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Structural formulae and isomers
  • Alcohols
  • Polymers

Unit 7 - Energy, equilibria and reaction kinetics
  • Energy in reactions
  • Kinetic theory and factors affecting reaction rate
  • Catalysts
  • Reaction kinetics: an industrial case study

Unit 8 - Obtaining evidence and graphical information
  • Obtaining evidence from experiments
  • Diffusion and graphical interpretation

Unit 9 - The periodic table
  • Group 0, the noble gases and hydrogen
  • Group 1, the alkali metals
  • Aluminium and carbon
  • Carbon dioxide and carbonates
  • Group 5, nitrogen
  • Ammonia
  • Nitric acid
  • Group 6, oxygen
  • Sulphur dioxide and sulphuric acid
  • Group 7, the halogens
  • Group 7, chlorine

Unit 10 - Chemical calculations
  • The mole and reacting masses
  • More moles

Unit 11 - Oxidation and reduction
  • Redox reactions
  • Redox in action

Unit 12 - Electrolysis
  • Electricity and chemistry
  • Predicting the products of electrolysis

Unit 13 - Chemical substances: preparation and analysis
  • Gas preparation and identification
  • Laboratory apparatus
  • Identifying substances

Exams and assessment

Two exams:
  • 2 hours, 67% of marks
  • 1 hour, 33% of marks

Non-exam assessment (NEA):
  • None


Assignments do not contribute towards your final grade but provide you with an opportunity to submit work to your tutor for marking and feedback. This will help you to gauge your progress as you work through the course.

This course has:
  • 1 introductory assignment
  • 15 assignments

Set texts and resources

There are no additional set texts.

Using learn@nec

Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:

Operating systems:
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or later
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
  • iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser

  • Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari 6 or later
  • Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)

learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.

How to enrol

There are several ways to enrol with NEC:
  • Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above.
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team.
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

Paying in instalments

It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative example:
Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months
  0% (fixed)

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.

Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to or visit
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IGCSE Chemistry Course Sample

Thank you for your interest in this course.

Please fill out your details below, and you will receive an email containing a link to download the course sample.

What our students say...

"You need lots of motivation but the results that you can achieve can be amazing! A few years ago I would never have thought that I would want to go and study them further at A level. I would like to thank the NEC tutors for their support during my studies."
— Sarah Hindley