The Higher Modern Studies course encourages candidates to develop a greater understanding of the contemporary world and their place in it. They have opportunities to develop important attitudes such as respect for the values, beliefs and cultures of others; openness to new thinking and ideas; and a sense of responsibility and global citizenship.

The course emphasises the development and application of skills. The focus on evaluating sources and making decisions develops candidates’ thinking skills, as well as skills in literacy and numeracy. Investigative and critical thinking activities give candidates opportunities to gain important experience in contributing to group work and working on their own.

In S5/6 pupils study three SQA units for their qualification and course work meets the CFE Outcomes for National 6. If studying National 4 or 5 in S5/6 then pupil will study the same course content:

The First Unit is UK Politics:
Decision Making in the UK, including the constitutional arrangements of the country, the First Past the Post System, power of MPs, conflict between Parliament and Government and the influence of Pressure Groups and the Media in a democracy.

The Second Unit is Social Issues:
Health and Wealth Inequalities in the UK, including poverty and inequality in wealth and health, inequalities in gender and the government policies introduced to reduce these inequalities.

The Third Unit is World Power:
USA, including the political system, social and economic change and inequalities, immigration and the influence USA has on the rest of the world.

The Higher Exam Paper 1 features 3 x Knowledge and Understanding questions (2 x 20 marks essay and 1 x 12 mark essays) and Paper 2 features 3 Enquiry Skills questions (Accurate, Conclusion and Reliability Questions).  Pupils also must complete a research assignment based on a topic chosen by the pupil and marked externally by SQA. The National 6 Assignment involves analysis of a Modern Studies Issue using at least 5 sources, the suggestion of 3 options to help the issue, the selection of one of the options and the coming to conclusions about the options and must be written up in a formal report style. This is then written up in exam circumstances and is worth 1/3 of the overall mark.




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