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VCE Chemistry enables students to examine a range of chemical, biochemical and geophysical phenomena through the exploration of the nature of chemicals and chemical processes. In undertaking this study, students apply chemical principles to explain and quantify the behaviour of matter, as well as undertake practical activities that involve the analysis and synthesis of a variety of materials.

In VCE Chemistry students develop a range of inquiry skills involving practical experimentation and research specific to the knowledge of the discipline, analytical skills including critical and creative thinking, and communication skills. Students use scientific and cognitive skills and understanding to analyse contemporary chemistry-related issues, and communicate their views from an informed position.

VCE Chemistry provides for continuing study pathways within the discipline and leads to a range of careers. Branches of chemistry include organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry and biochemistry. In addition, chemistry is applied in many fields of endeavour including agriculture, bushfire research, dentistry, dietetics, education, engineering, environmental sciences, forensic science, forestry, horticulture, medicine, metallurgy, meteorology, pharmacy, sports science, toxicology, veterinary science and viticulture.


This study enables students to:

  • apply models, theories and concepts to describe, explain, analyse and make predictions about chemical phenomena, systems, structures and properties, and the factors that can affect them

  • understand and use the language and methodologies of chemistry to solve qualitative and quantitative problems in familiar and unfamiliar contexts and more broadly to:

  • understand the cooperative, cumulative, evolutionary and interdisciplinary nature of science as a human endeavour, including its possibilities, limitations and political and sociocultural influences

  • develop a range of individual and collaborative science investigation skills through experimental and inquiry tasks in the field and in the laboratory

  • develop an informed perspective on contemporary science-based issues of local and global significance

  • apply their scientific understanding to familiar and unfamiliar situations including personal, social, environmental and technological contexts

  • develop attitudes that include curiosity, open-mindedness, creativity, flexibility, integrity, attention to detail and respect for evidence-based conclusions

  • understand and apply the research, ethical and safety principles that govern the study and practice of the discipline in the collection, analysis, critical evaluation and reporting of data

  • communicate clearly and accurately an understanding of the discipline using appropriate terminology, conventions and formats.


The study is made up of four units.

Unit 1: How can the diversity of materials be explained?
Unit 2: What makes water such a unique chemical?
Unit 3: How can chemical processes be designed to optimise efficiency?
Unit 4: How are organic compounds categorised, analysed and used?

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