Chemistry, the study of matter and its interactions, is an indispensable human activity that has contributed essential knowledge and understanding of the world around us. Chemical knowledge has enabled us to understand matter and devise processes for activities such as: cooking and preserving food; purifying air and water; recycling plastics; anaesthetising patients; creating and building computers; and communicating with others around the world about chemistry.
It has also allowed people to produce and design materials for purposes that include: transport and fuels; cosmetic and beauty products; building products; medical treatments and pharmaceuticals; and cleaning agents. The significant achievements of chemistry stretch across every facet of our lives. However, some may come at a price if they are not used with the greatest of care. Chemical monitoring tells us that some materials, that may pose a threat to ourselves and other life forms, have entered the environment. Ongoing developments and improved understanding of chemistry can also be used to solve these problems.
The course enables students to relate chemistry to other sciences including biology, physics, geology, medicine, molecular biology and agriculture, and to take advantage of vocational opportunities that arise through its application. It also helps them to prepare for further study and to be responsible and efficient users of specialised chemical products and processes at home or in the workplace.