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St Andrew's RC High School

Respect, Happiness,
Confidence and Ambition

S5-6 Modern Studies

Ambition, Confidence, Happiness and Respect.



Entrance Requirement: National 5 in Modern Studies Pupils with a National 5 pass in both English and another social subject may be accepted at the discretion of the department.

Course Higher Content – 3 mandatory units (40 hours each)


Unit 1: Democracy in Scotland and the UK.

Unit 2: Social Issues in the UK – Social Inequality in the United Kingdom

Unit 3: International Issues – World Powers


Advanced Higher  

Entrance Requirement: While entry is at the discretion of the department, candidates would normally be expected to have attained either a course or the component units at Higher in Modern Studies. 

Course Content: 2 mandatory units

Unit 1: Contemporary Issues – Political Issues and Research Methods

Unit 2: Researching Contemporary Issues – Dissertation

 This unit incorporates investigative approaches leading to the production of a dissertation which is based on the content of a unit studied at Advanced Higher. This unit provides an opportunity for candidates to develop the investigative skills of planning, researching, analysing and presenting in a social science context.

How Higher and Advanced Higher courses can help you

The purpose of Modern Studies is to develop an understanding of contemporary society and fundamental processes which underpin political and social life. These processes are considered in local, national and international contexts. It aims to develop the skills necessary for the study and intelligent discussion of contemporary issues and thus contribute to the student’s preparation for full and active membership of society. Modern Studies also contributes to personal and social development, including the area of rights and responsibilities. This includes the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy and the moral and ethical responsibilities of individuals.

Criteria for Progression to the Next Level of Certification

Higher - Possible progression to Advanced Higher Modern Studies

Advanced Higher - The qualification will also assist with the progression to Higher Education. Advanced Higher leads directly onto first year study at university.



Assessment will include a dissertation and the course assessment.

For those pupils who are sitting the course assessment only, there is one mandatory unit. This is the Higher Assignment.  The course assessment will be graded A-D.

 For those pupils who are not sitting the course assessment, there are three mandatory stand alone units that

are internally assessed on a pass/fail basis within centres and by the SQA. To gain the stand alone units, the learner must pass all of the units as well as the Higher Assignment.

Expectations of the Department

Homework is issued on a regular basis. This involves completing work or extension work from class lessons or the completion of past paper questions. Generally learners should read over notes from class, complete work/homework and make more detailed notes from books on a nightly basis.  Homework assignments should be completed by the dates given.