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Revision Resources

BBC Bitesize Geography

National 4 / 5 Geography Course Descriptor


National 4 and 5 Geography builds on the principles and practices for social studies and for science in the Broad General Education (S1-3). Candidates develop a framework of geographical knowledge and increase their understanding of the environment, sustainability and the impact of global issues.

The course emphasises the development and application of skills. The emphasis on the interpretation of sources, including maps, develops thinking skills. Candidates gain experience in contributing to group work and also working on their own through taking part in investigative and critical thinking activities. They also progressively develop their skills in literacy and numeracy.

 Unit structure:

Physical Environments

Human Environments

Global Issues

 Assessment National 4

The National 4 course will be internally assessed through the assessment of each unit. Pupils will also be assessed on an Added Value Unit (AVU) where they will carry out a research project into a geographical topic and present their findings.

 Assessment National 5

The National 5 the course will be externally assessed as outlined below. The units done as part of the course will also be assessed to check the pupil’s level of understanding of each unit.

Course Assessment National 5

Component 1: Question paper                                                     80 marks

The question paper allows candidates to demonstrate application of the following skills and breadth of knowledge and understanding from across the course:

  • using a limited range of mapping skills
  • using a limited range of numerical and graphical information
  • giving detailed descriptions and explanations with some interpretation

Component 2: Assignment                                                           20 Marks

The purpose of the National 5 Geography assignment is for candidates to demonstrate their skills in researching an appropriate geographical topic or issue, collecting information and processing this information using geographical skills /techniques to write an extended response under controlled conditions within 1 hour and in one sitting.

 Total:                                                                                                            100 Marks


Pupils achieving National 4 in Geography can progress to Geography at National 5 level, or pick a new Social Subject.

Pupils achieving a good pass at National 5 in Geography can progress to Higher Geography in S5 and Advanced Higher in S6.

Study Support is offered throughout your time at Pitlochry High School, come and see me to book an appointment.

 Mr Delahunt