Levels offered: National 3, National 4, National 5, Higher, Advanced Higher
Physicists study the world around us and try to uncover the laws which govern how and why objects exist and behave as they do. Their research and findings act as the scientific basis for developments in all kinds of technology from communications and energy efficiency to space and satellites.
The study of Physics contributes to an increased knowledge and understanding facts, ideas, techniques and applications of physics, improves problem solving skills and provides an opportunity for some investigative work.
Who might choose this course?
If you’re good at science and maths, and a logical thinker, being a physicist could be the career for you. You’ll also need an enquiring mind and the ability to communicate well.
You could apply your knowledge of physics in a variety of industries depending on your particular area of expertise. For example, physicists might be involved in climate forecasting, developing new medical instruments and treatments, development of analytical equipment or working in satellite technology and space exploration. They could also be investigating new ways to generate power, exploring robotics and artificial intelligence, or teaching in schools, colleges or universities.
National 3: To achieve the National 3 course, learners must pass all of the required 3 Units. National 3 has no external SQA exam paper and National 3 Courses are not graded.
National 4: To achieve the National 4 course, learners must pass all of the required Units, including the Added Value Unit. National 4 Courses are not graded and National 3 has no external SQA exam paper.
National 5: To achieve the National 5 course, learners must pass all of the required Units and the course assessment which is graded. The course assessment will consist of two components: an assignment (20%) and a question paper (80%). Both will be externally SQA assessed. Each component will assess both skills and knowledge and understanding. The question paper will have a greater emphasis on knowledge and understanding while the assignment will have a greater emphasis on skills.
Higher: To achieve the Higher course, learners must pass each of the three Units and the course assessment, which is graded.
Advanced Higher: To achieve the Advanced Higher course, learners must pass two components: a course assessment and a research project. The course develops the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to analyse and solve problems in familiar and unfamiliar contexts.