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Modern Studies

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

Miss Robertson & Mr Delahunt

Revision Resources

BBC Bitesize Modern Studies
BBC News
National 5 Past Papers online

National 4 / 5 Modern Studies Course Descriptor


National 4 and 5 Modern Studies courses encourage candidates to develop a greater understanding of the contemporary world and their place in it. They also 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 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.

 Unit structure:

1: Democracy in Scotland and the United Kingdom

2: Social Issues in the United Kingdom (Crime & the Law)

3: International Issues (The USA)

 Assessment National 4

The National 4 course will be internally assessed through the assessment of each of the three units. Pupils will also be assessed on an Added Value Unit (AVU) where they will carry out a research project into a Modern Studies 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 the skills, knowledge and understanding for the course assessment section:

  • supporting and opposing a view using a limited range of sources of information
  • making and justifying a decision using a limited range of sources of information
  • drawing and supporting conclusions using a limited range of sources of information
  • giving detailed descriptions and explanations with some analysis

 Component 2: Assignment                                                           20 Marks

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

 Total:                                                                                                            100 Marks


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

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