Cambridge IGCSE®

Subject Details (Chemistry)

Key benefits

Cambridge IGCSE™ syllabuses are created especially for international students. For over 25 years, we have worked with schools and teachers worldwide to develop syllabuses that are suitable for different countries, different types of schools and for learners with a wide range of abilities.

Cambridge IGCSE Chemistry enables learners to:

  • increase their understanding of the technological world
  • take an informed interest in scientific matters
  • recognise the usefulness (and limitations) of scientific method, and how to apply this to other disciplines and in everyday life
  • develop relevant attitudes, such as a concern for accuracy and precision, objectivity, integrity, enquiry, initiative and inventiveness
  • develop an interest in, and care for, the environment
  • better understand the influence and limitations placed on scientific study by society, economy, technology, ethics, the community and the environment
  • develop an understanding of the scientific skills essential for both further study and everyday life.

Our programmes balance a thorough knowledge and understanding of a subject and help to develop the skills learners need for their next steps in education or employment.


The aims describe the purposes of a course based on this syllabus.
The aims are to:

  • provide an enjoyable and worthwhile educational experience for all learners, whether or not they go on to study science beyond this level
  • enable learners to acquire sufficient knowledge and understanding to:
    1. become confident citizens in a technological world and develop an informed interest in scientific matters
    2. be suitably prepared for studies beyond Cambridge IGCSE
    3. allow learners to recognise that science is evidence based and understand the usefulness, and the limitations, of scientific method
  • develop skills that:
    1. are relevant to the study and practice of Chemistry
    2. are useful in everyday life
    3. encourage a systematic approach to problem solving
    4. encourage efficient and safe practice
    5. encourage effective communication through the language of science
  • develop attitudes relevant to Chemistry such as:
    1. concern for accuracy and precision
    2. objectivity
    3. integrity
    4. enquiry
    5. initiative
    6. inventiveness
  • enable learners to appreciate that:
    1. science is subject to social, economic, technological, ethical and cultural influences and limitations
    2. the applications of science may be both beneficial and detrimental to the individual, the community and the environment.

Assessment overview

All candidates take three papers.
Candidates who have studied the Core subject content, or who are expected to achieve a grade D or below, should be entered for Paper 1, Paper 3 and either Paper 5 or Paper 6. These candidates will be eligible for grades C to G. Candidates who have studied the Extended subject content (Core and Supplement), and who are expected to achieve a grade C or above, should be entered for Paper 2, Paper 4 and  Paper 6. These candidates will be eligible for grades A* to G.

Chemistry IGCSE Syllabus code 0620

Module TopicTime Frame(123h  in total)
M1- Experimental techniques1 Measurement5h
2 Criteria of purity
3 Methods of purification
M2 - Particles, atomic structure, ionic bonding and the Periodic Table1 The particulate nature of matter14h
2 Atomic structure and the Periodic Table
3 Energy transfer
4 Bonding: the structure of matter
5 Physical and chemical changes
6 Properties of metals
7 Ions and ionic bonds
8 The Periodic Table
M3- Air and water1 Water6h
2 Air
M4 - Acids, bases and salts1 The characteristic properties of acids and bases14h
2 The characteristic properties of acids and bases
3 Types of oxides
4 Carbonates
5 Preparation of salts
6 Identification of ions and gases
M5 - Reaction rates1 Rate (speed) of reaction10h
2 Energetics of a reaction
M6- Metals and the Reactivity Series1 Properties of metals12h
2 Metallic bonding
3 Reactivity series
4 Uses of metals
5 Extraction of metals
M7- Covalent bonding1 Molecules and covalent bonds4h
2 Macromolecules
M8 - Organic Chemistry1 Names of compounds26h
2 Homologous series
3 Fuels
4 Alkanes
5 Alkenes
6 Alcohols
7 Carboxylic acids
8 Polymers
M9- Amount of substance1 Stoichiometry9h
2 The mole concept
M10- Redox, electrochemistry and Group VII1 Redox11h
2 Electricity and chemistry
M11 - Equilibria1 Reversible reactions12h
2 Nitrogen and fertilisers
3 Sulfur