VCE Chemistry Overview

Man using a burette in a chemistry lab

Chemistry is one of several science subjects that VCE has to offer, alongside biology, physics and psychology.

Chemistry is an excellent subject for students who have an interest in science as a whole, or those who want to take a science subject, but have no idea which! Its overlap with biology and physics means there is something for everyone, regardless of if you’re a rote learner or a numbers person! It’s also a prerequisite to a wide range of university subjects, including medicine and dentistry.

Unit 3 focuses on energy production and yield optimisation. These topics will suit mathematical learners. Under energy production, you’ll learn about the different ways we can use energy, their pros and cons, as well as their real-life applications. Yield optimisation covers the concepts of rates of reaction and equilibrium, with an emphasis on industrial production of chemicals.

Unit 4 is less mathematical, leaning towards the biological sciences. The key topics are organic chemistry, food chemistry, and practical investigation. Organic chemistry offers insight into the types of organic compounds that exist, how they can be synthesised, and how their properties arise. Food chemistry takes a more practical stance, tackling the macromolecules and their digestion, enzymes, and energy content of foods. Finally, the practical investigation portion provides a hands-on opportunity for students to design and optimise their own experiments!

Our take:

Chemistry is a challenging but rewarding subject. Considered to be a little more difficult than physics or biology, this subject will suit students who enjoy problem solving.

We think that chemistry is a fantastic subject for curious minds who are intrigued by science, including those that aren’t yet sure what aspect of science most interests them. Here’s why:

  • It’s diverse range of topics give a strong introduction to many exciting fields, including medicine, biotechnology, engineering and physics.
  • It’s real world applications spark new interests in many students who study the subject.
  • Chemistry is a prerequisite for many popular university degrees, including medicine, dentistry and pharmacy.
  • Even for courses that don’t require it as a prerequisite, an understanding of chemistry can help you excel.

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