CFE Higher Chemistry

CFE Higher Chemistry provides a good basis for the future study of Chemistry and Chemistry–related subjects in higher education. It is a good background for candidates who wish to pursue a career in a science-based area.

The course has been developed by SQA, who have worked with teachers, pupils, universities and industry, to provide our students with a better understanding of the subject. The new course has an added skills emphasis to enable pupils to follow further education or work placements when they leave school .

Chemistry is broken down into 3 units covering a range of topics. Each topic has a variety of practical that can be done to enhance the theory.

Unit 1 - Chemical Changes and Structure 

Unit 2 - Nature’s chemistry

Unit 3 - Chemistry in society


Recommended Entry Requirements

Candidates will normally be expected to have attained Nat 5 chemistry at grade A or B (They also require to have passed or be studying Nat 5 Maths).


The Higher certificate is awarded on a scale of A-D, in addition to the end of unit extension tests, each student is presented for the external exam. 

External exam in May (120 marks).

Added value assement (20 marks) - this allows students to present practical work that they carry out and the relevant theory/research. Written up under exam conditions and externally marked.

Nature’s chemistry

The topics covered are:

  • systematic carbon chemistry
  • alcohols
  • carboxylic acids
  • esters
  • fats and oils
  • soaps
  • detergents and emulsions
  • proteins
  • oxidation of food
  • fragrances
  • skin care

Chemistry in society

The topics covered are:

  • getting the most from reactants
  • controlling the rate
  • chemical energy
  • equilibria
  • chemical analysis