The carbon atom has unique characteristics that explain the diversity and number of organic compounds that not only constitute living tissues but are also found in the fuels, foods, medicines and many of the materials we use in everyday life. In this unit students investigate the structural features, bonding, typical reactions and uses of the major families of organic compounds including those found in food.

Students study the ways in which organic structures are represented and named. They process data from instrumental analyses of organic compounds to confirm or deduce organic structures, and perform volumetric analyses to determine the concentrations of organic chemicals in mixtures. Students consider the nature of the reactions involved to predict the products of reaction pathways and to design pathways to produce particular compounds from given starting materials.

Students investigate key food molecules through an exploration of their chemical structures, the hydrolytic reactions in which they are broken down and the condensation reactions in which they are rebuilt to form new molecules. In this context the role of enzymes and coenzymes in facilitating chemical reactions is explored. Students use calorimetry as an investigative tool to determine the energy released in the combustion of foods.

This unit is delivered in Year 12.

Unit details

Study level:
Vocational and further education (TAFE)
Unit code:


CH033 - Chemistry 3


Assessment tasks will be designed to reinforce and extend knowledge in accordance with each unit's learning outcomes, including the setting of practical application tasks designed to provide evidence of competence outcomes, within periodic and scheduled timelines. Students will be expected to demonstrate the following knowledge: Outcome 1 On completion of this unit the student should be able to compare the general structures and reactions of the major organic families of compounds, deduce structures of organic compounds using instrumental analysis data, and design reaction pathways for the synthesis of organic molecules. Outcome 2 On completion of this unit the student should be able to distinguish between the chemical structures of key food molecules, analyse the chemical reactions involved in the metabolism of the major components of food including the role of enzymes, and calculate the energy content of food using calorimetry. Outcome 3 On the completion of this unit the student should be able to design and undertake a practical investigation related to energy and/or food, and present methodologies, findings and conclusions in a scientific poster.Assessment will follow the requirements set out in the VCE Chemistry Study Guide: SCHOOL-BASED ASSESSMENT 1. Satisfactory completion The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on whether the student has demonstrated the set of outcomes specified for the unit. A variety of assessment tasks will provide a range of opportunities for students to demonstrate the key knowledge and key skills in the outcomes. 2. Assessment of levels of achievement The student's level of achievement in Unit 4 will be determined by School-assessed Coursework (SAC). SAC will be completed mainly in class and within a limited time-frame. SAC for Unit 3 will contribute 16 per cent to the study score (CH033 Chemistry 3). SAC for Unit 4 will contribute 24 per cent to the study score. Practical work is a central component of learning and assessment. As a guide, between 3½ and 5 hours of class time should be devoted to student practical work and investigations for each of Areas of Study 1 and 2. For Area of Study 3, between 7 and 10 hours of class time should be devoted to the investigation related to energy and/ or food, to be undertaken in either Unit 3 or Unit 4, or across both Units 3 and 4, including writing of the sections of the scientific poster. EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT The level of achievement for Units 3 and 4 is also assessed by an end-of-year examination, which will contribute 60 per cent to the study score.

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