The Complete Guide to IGCSE Chemistry Online

The Complete Guide to IGCSE Chemistry Online

Chemistry, often termed as the ‘Central Science’, is pivotal in bridging the physical sciences with life sciences and applied sciences like medicine and engineering. The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in Chemistry provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the material world. At Cambridge Home School Online (CHS Online), we are committed to delivering an unrivalled British education, empowering students to progress to esteemed universities globally, including but not limited to Cambridge, Oxford, and top US universities.

Course Details


At CHS Online, we offer two main qualifications in the realm of IGCSE Chemistry:

  • CIE IGCSE (9-1) 0971 Chemistry (UK only)
  • CIE IGCSE (A-G) 0620 Chemistry*

Duration and Delivery

The journey through IGCSE Chemistry spans two years, a journey marked by discovery and understanding. Our delivery method stands out, with live online classes conducted by experienced and qualified teachers, ensuring a dynamic and interactive learning environment.

Start Date

The academic year commences in September and concludes in July, providing a structured yet flexible learning schedule tailored to meet the needs of our global student body.

Course Structure and Content

The IGCSE Chemistry curriculum at Cambridge Home School Online is designed to foster a deep understanding of chemical principles and their applications. Here’s a closer look at each topic covered:

C1. The Particulate Nature of Matter

This foundational unit explores the concept that matter is composed of particles. It delves into the properties and behaviours of solids, liquids, and gases under different conditions, providing students with a solid grounding in understanding matter’s physical states and the transitions between them.

C2. Experimental Techniques

Students are introduced to essential laboratory skills, including methods of separation and purification such as filtration, distillation, and chromatography. This unit is crucial for developing practical skills and understanding how different substances can be isolated and identified in the lab.

C3. Atoms, Elements and Compounds

This topic covers the core of Chemistry, starting from the basic building blocks – atoms. It includes the study of physical and chemical changes, distinctions between elements, compounds, and mixtures, as well as the structure of the atom. Students will also learn about the Periodic Table, ionic and covalent bonding, and the formation of giant structures.

C4. Stoichiometry

Stoichiometry involves the quantitative aspects of chemical reactions, particularly the concept of the mole. This section equips students with the ability to calculate reactant and product quantities in chemical reactions, a skill fundamental to both theoretical and practical chemistry.

C5. Electricity and Chemistry

This unit explores the fascinating interplay between electricity and chemical substances, including electrolysis. Students will understand how electrical energy can bring about chemical changes and the applications of these processes in various industries.

C6. Energy Changes in Chemical Reactions

Here, students learn about the energetics of reactions, including exothermic and endothermic processes. Understanding energy changes is crucial for predicting reaction behaviour and is applicable in contexts like energy resources and environmental chemistry.

C7. Chemical Reactions

This broad topic covers various types of chemical reactions, including the speed of reactions and redox processes. Students will investigate factors that affect reaction rates and the importance of redox reactions in both biological systems and industrial applications.

C8. Acids, Bases, and Salts

Students will explore the properties of acids and bases, their reactions with each other, and with metals to form salts. This unit is vital for understanding many natural and industrial processes, from digestion in our bodies to large-scale manufacturing of chemicals.

C9. The Periodic Table

A more in-depth look at the Periodic Table allows students to explore periodic trends such as electronegativity, atomic size, and reactivity. This knowledge is key to predicting the behaviour of elements and their compounds.

C10. Metals

Focusing on metals, this section covers their properties, the reactivity series, and methods for metal extraction and use. This topic is essential for understanding the practical applications of metals, from construction materials to electronic components.

C11. Air and Water

This unit examines the chemistry of air and water, including pollution and purification processes. It’s particularly relevant for understanding environmental issues and sustainability.

C12. Sulfur

Students explore the properties and uses of sulfur and sulfur compounds, with an emphasis on their industrial and environmental significance, such as in the production of sulfuric acid.

C13. Carbonates

This topic covers the reactions of carbonates, especially their role in geological processes and their economic importance in materials like limestone and marble.

C14. Organic Chemistry

An introduction to organic chemistry, this unit covers the basics of carbon-based compounds, including fuels, hydrocarbons, alcohols, and polymers. Students will learn about the diversity and importance of organic compounds in our lives, from energy sources to materials.

Homework, Assessment, and Reporting

Homework and Revision

Students are expected to complete regular homework and engage in consistent revision. This includes:

  • Weekly homework for Level 4 students and fortnightly tasks for Level 3.
  • Active revision through well-organized notes and revision cards.

Assessments and Reporting

  • Level 3 internal assessments in June.
  • Level 4 mock assessments in November and March.
  • Detailed reports post-assessment, providing insightful feedback from our experienced educators.

Parental Engagement and Support

At CHS Online, we believe in the power of partnership between educators and parents. Our family Teams account facilitates this collaboration, offering detailed insights into students’ progress and providing a platform for continuous dialogue and support.

Practical Work and Experiments

While the virtual nature of our course might suggest limitations, we encourage hands-on learning where feasible. However, the safety of our students is paramount. All practical activities are conducted under the strict supervision of an adult, and the decision to undertake these lies with the student and their guardians.

Recommended Resources

To enhance the learning experience, we recommend the following resources, although they are not mandatory:

  • Cambridge IGCSE® Chemistry Coursebook with CD-ROM by Richard Harwood and Ian Lodge.
  • Basic stationery, including access to a printer, pencils, and notebooks.

The Ideal Student for IGCSE Chemistry at Cambridge Home School

At Cambridge Home School, we celebrate the uniqueness of every child, embracing the diversity that each student brings to our community. Our ethos is built on the foundation of nurturing not just academically outstanding students, but individuals who are remarkable in various ways. The question we pose to you is, “In what ways does your child stand out?” This distinction can be in their approach to learning, their curiosity about the world, or their resilience in the face of challenges.

Characteristics of a Successful CHS Student

Success at Cambridge Home School is not a one-dimensional metric; it is the culmination of hard work, innate talent, unwavering determination, and an undiluted dedication to one’s goals. We seek students who embody resilience and are supported by a strong network, ready to share their successes and the lessons learned from their journeys. Our students are not just preparing for exams; they are gearing up for a future filled with remarkable achievements, guided by our world-class educators who hold PhDs, MAs, and MScs in their specialist subjects.

Ambition and Dreams

We believe in the power of dreams and goals. Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve provides a solid direction for your educational journey. For our IGCSE Chemistry students, whether it’s aspiring to be a groundbreaking researcher, an innovative engineer, or a leading environmentalist, we aim to provide the stepping stones towards realizing these dreams. Our school motto, ‘Laborare ad Consequi’, translates to ‘Work to Achieve’. We invite you to reflect on this principle and consider how it resonates with your own aspirations.

Character and Conduct

In a world that’s increasingly competitive, we place a high value on selecting students who are not just academic achievers but also possess a commendable character. We encourage prospective students to showcase their integrity, empathy, and kindness in their personal statements, highlighting how these virtues contribute to their overall profile as a learner and a member of the community.

Engagement and Participation

An optimal learning environment is one where students are eager and ready to engage. Our live, interactive classes commence at 9 am UK time, designed to ensure that students are alert, focused, and prepared to absorb new knowledge. It’s crucial that our students are situated in time zones that support this schedule or are willing to adjust their routines to align with our class timings. While we leverage technology and digital platforms for education, the essence of our teaching philosophy is rooted in real-time interaction and participation, setting us apart from purely video-based learning platforms.

In essence, the ideal student for IGCSE Chemistry at Cambridge Home School is one who stands out through their dedication to learning, clarity of purpose, strong moral character, and readiness to engage actively in our vibrant educational community. If your child is poised to embark on this exciting journey with us, we look forward to hearing about what makes them uniquely suited for our school.


IGCSE Chemistry at Cambridge Home School Online is more than just a course; it’s a pathway to future academic and professional success in the scientific realm. Our commitment to providing a high-quality, comprehensive education is unwavering, and we invite you to join our community of learners and educators.


What qualifications can be obtained through IGCSE Chemistry?

Students have the opportunity to earn two primary qualifications in IGCSE Chemistry: the CIE IGCSE (9-1) 0971 Chemistry, designed specifically for UK students, and the CIE IGCSE (A-G) 0620 Chemistry, which is available to a wider international audience.

How long does the IGCSE Chemistry course take, and how is it delivered?

The IGCSE Chemistry course spans two years and is delivered through live online classes led by experienced and qualified teachers, ensuring a dynamic and interactive educational experience.

When does the IGCSE Chemistry academic year start?

The academic year for the IGCSE Chemistry course begins in September and ends in July, offering a structured yet adaptable learning schedule to accommodate the diverse needs of an international student body.

What are the key topics covered in the IGCSE Chemistry curriculum?

The curriculum includes a comprehensive range of topics such as the particulate nature of matter, experimental techniques, atomic structure, stoichiometry, and the principles of organic chemistry, among others, all designed to provide a deep understanding of chemical principles and their practical applications.

What is the approach to homework, assessment, and reporting in the IGCSE Chemistry course?

Students are expected to engage in regular homework and revision, with assessments conducted at various stages throughout the course. Detailed feedback is provided post-assessment to help guide students’ progress.