Modern Studies

Pupils can study Modern Studies at National 4, 5 and Higher level.  The Modern Studies Course involves:

Democracy in Scotland and the UK

Pupils will study a range of political issues e.g. Constitutional arrangements such as the Scottish Parliament and possible Independence; Political institutions and processes; voting systems and their impact, amongst others

Social Issues in the UK – Crime and the Law

Pupils will study causes and consequences of crime in Scotland and the UK and our response as a society to tackle these. They will also develop skills in giving reasons to support a decision. Pupils will investigate independently, as well as classroom based individual and group work tasks.

International Issue – Terrorism

Pupils will study why it is important to study terrorism and the impact it has for our society. They will investigate the causes, consequences and attempts at resolving the issue of terrorism on a local, national and global scale.

How will I be assessed?

At National 4 level, pupils will be expected to pass all three unit assessments and an internally assessed Added Value Unit on a topic of their choice.

At National 5 level, pupils will research an assignment topic within class time and write a response on that topic in timed conditions. The assignment is worth 20% of the overall grade.  They will also have written examination that lasts 2 hours and 20 minutes and is worth the remaining 80% of their grade.

At Higher level, pupils must pass all 3 unit assessments, an external assignment (33% of final grade) during class time and an external examination (67% of final grade).  The external assessment will consist of a written examination which lasts 2 hours 15 minutes.

What homework will I be expected to do?

Homework will be given regularly throughout the course, usually on a weekly basis.  Homework will be issued through ShowMyHomework.

Possible careers after studying Modern Studies include:

Media                                                 Economics

Teacher                                             Writer

Politician                                           Business

Archivist                                             Charity worker

Researcher                                       Public Sector administration

Politics                                               Legal Services

Publishing                                         Civil Servant



The links below provide information from the SQA on Modern Studies including past papers and marking solutions.

SQA Subject Page for National 4 Modern Studies

SQA Subject Page for National 5 Modern Studies

SQA Subject Page for Higher Modern Studies

Pupil Information about studying Modern Studies

My main reason to take Modern Studies was to learn something new and get another higher before I leave school at the end of S6. After showing competent literacy skills in English at higher level, I was allowed to take the this subject at a crash higher, providing I acknowledged the amount of work I would have to put in having never done a subject like this. There are three units in this subject, Democracy in Scotland and the UK, Crime and the Law and International Issues/World Powers. I didn’t think I would enjoy the democracy section but once we got into it, I found it was really interesting and I was more aware of what was going on in the world around me. I started watching and reading the news a lot more and felt I could explain the way things worked in our country, being able to form my own educated opinions, which is useful as I can now vote in Scottish elections. The homework really sets you up for exams, this year we have mostly been given one or two exam questions to do as homework, so we are always preparing for that final target of sitting our exam. This subject has given me a real interest in Economics, as well as criminology. It gives a real insight to the way things work so could take you down any social science route. I would definitely recommend this subject to anyone who is willing to learn new skills and knowledge.

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