IB Chemistry Course Structure

IB Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. There are 2 levels offered for the IB Diploma Programme: Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL). Check out our course structure below! Our experienced trainers will walk you through the key concepts as well as applications in examples so that you will have a deeper understanding and apply what you have mastered during exams!

Chemistry Standard Level (SL) Course Structure

Sessions for core curriculum (shared by both SL and HL):
SessionTopicsSubtopics
1Stoichiometric relationshipsMole concept, reacting masses and volumes
Atomics structureThe nuclear atom, electron configuration
PeriodicityPeriodic table and trends
Chemical bonding and structureIonic/covalent bonding and structure, intermolecular forces, metallic bonding
2Energetics/thermochemistryMeasuring energy changes, Hess’s law, bond enthalpies
Chemical kineticsCollision theory and rates of reaction
Equilibrium-
3Acids and basesTheories/properties of acids and bases, pH scale, strong and weak acids/bases, acid deposition
Redox processesOxidation and reduction, electrochemical cells
Organic chemistryFundamentals of organic chemistry, functional group chemistry
Measurement and data processingUncertainties and errors in measurement and results, graphical techniques, spectroscopic identification of organic compounds
Sessions for option curriculum (Both SL and HL pick one):
SessionTopicSubtopics
AMaterialsMaterial science, metals and ICP spectroscopy, catalysts, liquid crystals, polymers, nanotechnology, environmental impacts of plastics and heavy metals, superconducting metals and X-ray crystallography, condensation polymers
BBiochemistryProteins and enzymes, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins and enzymes, nucleic acids, biological pigments, stereochemistry
CEnergyEnergy sources, fossil fuels, nuclear fusion and fission, solar energy, global warming, photovoltaic and dye-sensitized solar cells
DMedicinal chemistryPharmaceutical products and drug action, aspirin and penicillin, opiates, pH regulation of the stomach, antiviral medications, nuclear medicine, drug detection and analysis

Chemistry Higher Level (HL) Course Structure

Sessions for core curriculum (shared by both SL and HL):
SessionTopicsSubtopics
1Stoichiometric relationshipsMole concept, reacting masses and volumes
Atomics structureThe nuclear atom, electron configuration
PeriodicityPeriodic table and trends
Chemical bonding and structureIonic/covalent bonding and structure, intermolecular forces, metallic bonding
2Energetics/thermochemistryMeasuring energy changes, Hess’s law, bond enthalpies
Chemical kineticsCollision theory and rates of reaction
Equilibrium-
3Acids and basesTheories/properties of acids and bases, pH scale, strong and weak acids/bases, acid deposition
Redox processesOxidation and reduction, electrochemical cells
Organic chemistryFundamentals of organic chemistry, functional group chemistry
Measurement and data processingUncertainties and errors in measurement and results, graphical techniques, spectroscopic identification of organic compounds
Sessions for AHL curriculum (HL students only):
SessionTopicsSubtopics
1Atomic structureSimple harmonic motion, single-slit diffraction, interference, resolution, The Doppler effect
The periodic table — Transition metalsFirst-row d-block elements, coloured complexes
Chemical bonding and structureFurther aspects of covalent bonding and structure, hybridization
2Energetics/thermochemistryEnergy cycles, entropy and spontaneity
Chemical kineticsRate expression and reaction mechanism, activation energy
EquilibriumEquilibrium law
3Acids and basesLewis acids and bases, pH curves
Redox processesElectrochemical cells
Organic chemistryOrganic reactions, synthetic routes, stereoisomerism
Measurement and analysisSpectroscopic identification of organic compounds
Sessions for option curriculum (Both SL and HL pick one):
SessionTopicSubtopics
AMaterialsMaterial science, metals and ICP spectroscopy, catalysts, liquid crystals, polymers, nanotechnology, environmental impacts of plastics and heavy metals, superconducting metals and X-ray crystallography, condensation polymers
BBiochemistryProteins and enzymes, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins and enzymes, nucleic acids, biological pigments, stereochemistry
CEnergyEnergy sources, fossil fuels, nuclear fusion and fission, solar energy, global warming, photovoltaic and dye-sensitized solar cells
DMedicinal chemistryPharmaceutical products and drug action, aspirin and penicillin, opiates, pH regulation of the stomach, antiviral medications, nuclear medicine, drug detection and analysis

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