The most important part of your depth study assessment is deciding on the idea and topic. This is especially challenging if you are given a depth study at the start of Year 12 since you haven’t been exposed to the concept and topics covered in the HSC Chemistry syllabus.
In this article, we discuss ideas and topics for:
For each Chemistry depth study type, we’ve outlined topics under each module. You might be interested in exploring these for your assessment.
Remember there are five different depth study types:
To understand the different types, read the article Chemistry depth study | Comprehensive Guide.
There are 3 different ideas suggested by NESA for the ‘Practical Investigation’ depth study type:
Examples of some practical investigations are listed below.
|Equilibrium and Acid Reactions||Design and conduct experiments||Solution Equilibria: Conduct a set of experiments manipulating solubility equilibria to determine the optimal conditions for crystallisation.|
|Acid / Base Reactions||Design and conduct experiments|
Test a device
|Buffers: Design and conduct an experiment to validate the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation.|
Quantitative Analysis: Assess the accuracy and limitations of pH meters in determining the concentration of hydronium ions in solution.
|Organic Chemistry||Test a claim||Energy Production from Alcohols: Validate the claim that oxygenated organic compounds are more prone to undergoing complete combustion.|
|Applying Chemical Ideas||Design and conduct experiments||Analysis of Inorganic Substances: Design and conduct a gravimetric analysis to assess the accuracy of a colourimeter.|
There are 9 different ideas suggested for the depth study type ‘Secondary-sourced Investigation’ by NESA:
Examples of some secondary-sourced investigations are listed below.
|Equilibrium and Acid Reactions||Make a documentary or media report||Equilibria in Industry: Create a documentary or media report to discuss the global impact of the development of the Haber Process.|
|Acid / Base reactions||Write an essay||Properties of Acids and Bases: Write a detailed theoretical essay to investigate the anomaly in the trend of acid strength of hydrogen halides (HF, HCl, HBr, HI).|
Theories of Acids and Bases: Write a historical essay which discusses the evidence which led to the evolution of the definition of acids and bases.
|Organic Chemistry||Develop an evidence-based argument|
Write a journal article
|Organic reactions: Research organic reaction mechanisms and write a detailed explanation of Markovnikov’s rule and relative the rate of reactions of primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols.|
Isomerism in Organic Chemistry: Write a journal article which explores the importance of optical isomerism in medicinal applications.
|Applying Chemical Ideas||Create a visual presentation|
Conduct a literature review
Investigate emerging technologies
|Analysis of Organic Substances: Create a poster or video to present the components and processes of different analytical instruments such as mass spectrometry, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.|
Mass Spectrometry: Conduct a literature review to determine the current applications of mass spectrometry in forensics.
Spectroscopy: Research innovative analytical techniques such as Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES).
There are 3 different ideas suggested for the depth study type ‘Creating’ by NESA:
Examples of some Creating are listed below.
|Equilibrium and Acid Reactions||Create a working model||Dynamic Equilibrium: Create a physical, visual or computer model of a dynamic equilibrium which can effectively showcase Le Chatelier’s principle in action.|
|Acid / Base Reactions||Design and invent||Acid/Base Indicators: Invent a universal indicator which can detect small incremental changes in pH. For example, create an indicator which changes colour every two pH units starting from pH = 0 and up to pH = 14.|
|Organic Chemistry||Design and invent||Biofuels: Design a small scale biogas digester which can be implemented in small farms and backyards.|
|Applying Chemical Ideas||Design and invent||Chemical Synthesis and Design: Design an optimised production process to synthesise a compound of interest. Consider raw materials, energy, waste management, cost, safety and operating conditions.|
There are 3 different ideas suggested for the depth study type ‘Data Analysis’ by NESA:
Examples of some data analysis are listed below.
|Equilibrium and Acid Reactions||Data analysis from a variety of sources||Factors that Affect Equilibrium: Analyse a series of data and graphs to determine the most influential factor which affects the position of a chosen chemical equilibrium.|
|Acid / Base Reactions||Data analysis from a variety of sources||Buffers: Collect and analyse data to investigate the connection between global warming, increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations and ocean acidification.|
|Organic Chemistry||Research analysis, eg of longitudinal data, resource management data||Biofuels: Research and analyse data from various industries to determine the carbon footprint for the production and use of bioethanol as a fuel source.|
|Applying Chemical Ideas||Construction and analysis of graphs/tables||Analysis of Inorganic Substances: Construct and analyse tables and graphs to determine the impact of CFCs on the global ozone levels. Hence justify the importance of chemical monitoring and management.|
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