H3 Pharmaceutical Chemistry

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H3 Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Syllabus 9812) is an additional subject being offered to the GCE A-level students in Singapore. It replaces the decades-old Special paper (otherwise known as paper "0" in syllabus 9251), a paper that is often taken by students aiming for local/overseas scholarship or who simply want to challenge themselves. The first batch of students will be sitting for their examination in November 2007.

As given under the "Introduction" in the syllabus provided by University of Cambridge, H3 is meant for students with exceptional ability and interest in chemistry. The depth of the knowledge is pitched at undergraduate level, with approximately 140 hours of teaching and self-directed independent learning. H3 Pharmaceutical Chemistry is notorious for being the hardest subject in the 'A' Level curriculum as prescribed by UCLES and SEAB.


The syllabus is divided into 6 sections as follow:

  1. Effects and development of drugs
  2. Properties of functional groups and intermolecular interactions
  3. Molecular Stereochemistry
  4. Understanding Reaction Mechanisms
  5. Separation and Analytical Techniques
  6. Some classes of drugs

Additional information[edit]

The above syllabus is somewhat similar to the optional topics offered by International Baccalaureate chemistry. It overlaps considerably with option B, G and H, which are titled "Medicines and Drugs", "Modern Analytical Chemistry" and "Further Organic Chemistry" respectively. The move from Special paper to H3 is primarily to place more emphasis on independent thinking, learning and creativity. Unlike Special paper, H3 takes the students beyond what is covered in the basic H2 syllabus; it therefore allows students to be exposed to more in-depth knowledge at a younger age.

Teaching materials/notes are mainly obtained from a guide written by the University of Cambridge.

External links[edit]

1. http://www.seab.gov.sg/SEAB/aLevel/syllabus/2008_GCE_A_Level_Syllabuses/9812_2008.pdf

2. http://www.seab.gov.sg/SEAB/aLevel/syllabus/2007_GCE_A_Level_Syllabuses/9251_Chem_2007.pdf

3. http://ibchem.com/IB/ibfiles/options/opt_B/opb.htm

4. http://ibchem.com/IB/ibfiles/options/opt_G/opg.htm

5. http://ibchem.com/IB/ibfiles/options/opt_H/oph.htm