IGCSE Chemistry

Online distance learning course with study materials, tutor support and guaranteed exam place included.

The National Extension College


£495 VAT exempt
Payment options

It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over... Read more

Study method
Online, self-paced
150 Hours
Access to content
18 Months
GCSE Chemistry
Additional info
  • Exam(s) / assessment(s) not included in price, and must be purchased separately
  • Tutor is available to students
  • TOTUM card is available to purchase separately What's this?

8 students enquired about this course


Ignite your passion for this complex and interesting subject, study IGCSE Chemistry online.

Everything you see, hear, smell, taste and touch involves chemistry and chemicals (matter). This broad and complex subject helps us to understand the world in which we live and opens up a range of science-based degree courses and careers.

We think chemistry is fun – no other subject offers bubbles, bangs and changes of colour or state! Our stimulating IGCSE Chemistry online course brings learning to life through a series of practical experiments suitable for completion at home.

Through our course, you’ll develop your knowledge of core concepts across physical, organic and inorganic chemistry, plus key employability skills – such as problem-solving, analytical thinking and reasoning.


GCSE Chemistry
Awarded by Pearson


Why study Chemistry?

What are atoms made of? Which gases form our atmosphere? How do we extract metal from the Earth’s crust? Studying IGCSE Chemistry online will reveal the answers to a myriad of questions about our world.

With NEC, you can progress at your own pace as you explore a series of engaging topics and undertake practical experiments at home. Perhaps you’ll join previous NEC students who’ve gone on to study chemistry at A level and beyond?

Course content

Section 1: Principles of chemistry, Part 1

  • States of matter
  • Solutions
  • Elements, compounds and mixtures
  • Chromatography
  • Atomic structure

Section 2: Principles of chemistry, Part 2

  • The periodic table
  • Ions
  • Ionically bonded substances
  • Covalent bonding
  • Covalently bonded substances

Section 3: Inorganic chemistry, Part 1

  • Chemical equations
  • Alkali metals
  • Gases in the atmosphere
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Halogens
  • The reactivity series

Section 4: Inorganic chemistry, Part 2

  • Rusting
  • Oxidation and reduction
  • Extraction of metals
  • Metallic properties
  • Acids and alkalis
  • Titration

Section 5: Inorganic chemistry, Part 3

  • Solubility
  • Acids and bases
  • Preparation of soluble salts
  • Preparation of insoluble salts
  • Chemical tests, Part 1
  • Chemical tests, Part 2

Section 6: Quantitative chemistry

  • Formula, masses and moles
  • Reacting masses
  • Experiments to find chemical formulae
  • Calculating chemical formulae
  • Calculating concentration
  • Calculating gas volumes

Section 7: Physical chemistry, Part 1

  • Energy in reactions
  • Energy level in diagrams
  • Measuring energy changes
  • Rates of reaction
  • Catalysts

Section 8: Organic chemistry, Part 1

  • Hydrocarbons
  • Naming organic compounds
  • Classifying organic reactions
  • Oil
  • Fuels
  • Cracking

Section 9: Physical chemistry, Part 2

  • Reversible reactions
  • Equilibrium
  • Changing reaction conditions
  • Electricity and chemistry
  • Electrolysis

Section 10: Organic chemistry, Part 2

  • Alkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Alcohols
  • Carboxylic acids
  • Esters
  • Polymers

Your tutor

You’ll have access to support from a personal tutor. All NEC tutors are subject experts, with experience of supporting online learners.

Meet Jane who is just one of our first-class chemistry tutors:

“I have taught for NEC since the late 1970s on maths, sciences and engineering courses and have also been a tutor for the Open University in technology. Each student has different goals and I aim to help everyone succeed. When students find themselves in difficulty with their course, I endeavour to show them clearly the way to reach the correct answer. I have a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and engineering. I have conducted research in chemistry and engineering and have a PhD in the latter. I completed the adult teaching qualification Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (now called Education and Training Level 3). I live in East Anglia.”

What you need to know

Exam board

  • Edexcel 4CH1


  • Online learning with support from a personal tutor

Entry requirements

  • No formal qualifications are required for this course
  • An ability to read and write in English


  • Complete at your own pace
  • Approx. 120-150* hours plus time for completing assignments

*The specification suggests that 150 hours is needed. You’ll also need time to complete assignments and prepare yourself for exams and some courses like English literature involve a lot of reading. Everyone is different so it’s impossible to say with certainty how long a course will take you, but you should expect to spend longer than 150 hours. Taken across the length of time we recommend, this equates to approximately 4 hours per week. This will increase if you choose to take it over a shorter time frame or may be less if you are retaking a subject and have covered a lot of of the course content.


  • 11 assignments (one introductory) – these do not contribute towards your final grade
  • 12 core practicals


  • No additional set texts required


  • Internet access
  • Computer operating system and browser to support learn@nec

What's included?

Our course fees are open and honest to help you plan for any additional costs.

Your course fee includes:

  • Access to learn@nec
  • All the course materials you need to complete the course
  • Support from a personal tutor for up to 18 months from your date of enrolment
  • Assignment marking
  • Guaranteed exam place
  • NEC’s guide to study skills: How to Succeed as an Independent Learner
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar guide
  • Time planner to help you plan your study timetable
  • Information on how to apply for exams

Your course fee does not cover:

  • Exam entry fees
  • Equipment for core practicals

Optional extras:

  • Additional past paper marking
  • Revision tutorial
  • Optional tutorial
  • Additional review

Exams and assessment

Exams (two):

  • 61% of marks (2 hours)
  • 39% of marks (1 hour 15 minutes)

There is no non-exam assessment (NEA) for this course.

Additional support if you're under 18

We know that our younger students often need an extra helping hand with their studies. In our experience, learning online works best when the parents are involved, so when you enrol your child with NEC, you’ll have a unique set of services to help you to support your child.

This includes:

  • Your own log in to learn@nec to access the course so you can view the course materials and other information for yourself.
  • Access to your child’s gradebook to help you to monitor progress and provide appropriate and timely intervention and support
  • You’ll receive emails and forum posts so that you have all the examination and assessment updates/information provided by the NEC team
  • Dedicated Parent Portal Pages and targeted blogs with updates/information/help and advice on many aspects of home education.
  • Access to the Kudos career platform for young learners to explore career choices.

Who is this course for?

Our Chemistry IGCSE course is ideal if you:

  • Are keen to explore some of the key principles of chemistry.
  • Like exploring ‘big ideas’ that explain the world that surrounds us.
  • Enjoy working scientifically: making predictions, testing theories and evaluating and communicating your findings.
  • Would like to build your observational, analytical and problem-solving skills, to improve your employability.


  • No formal qualifications are required for this course
  • An ability to read and write in English

Career path

  • Studying chemistry or STEM subjects at A level or university.
  • Chemistry develops skills that are well suited to careers in medicine, research, biochemistry, chemical engineering, consumer product development, forensic science, environmental law, pharmaceuticals, space exploration, software design or related areas such as the food industry, technical writing, transportation and education.

Questions and answers


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What does study method mean?

Study method describes the format in which the course will be delivered. At courses are delivered in a number of ways, including online courses, where the course content can be accessed online remotely, and classroom courses, where courses are delivered in person at a classroom venue.

What are CPD hours/points?

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. If you work in certain professions or for certain companies, your employer may require you to complete a number of CPD hours or points, per year. You can find a range of CPD courses on, many of which can be completed online.

What is a ‘regulated qualification’?

A regulated qualification is delivered by a learning institution which is regulated by a government body. In England, the government body which regulates courses is Ofqual. Ofqual regulated qualifications sit on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which can help students understand how different qualifications in different fields compare to each other. The framework also helps students to understand what qualifications they need to progress towards a higher learning goal, such as a university degree or equivalent higher education award.

What is an ‘endorsed’ course?

An endorsed course is a skills based course which has been checked over and approved by an independent awarding body. Endorsed courses are not regulated so do not result in a qualification - however, the student can usually purchase a certificate showing the awarding body’s logo if they wish. Certain awarding bodies - such as ABC Awards and TQUK - have developed endorsement schemes as a way to help students select the best skills based courses for them.


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