National 5 Modern Studies (Course Code: C849 75)

SCQF Level 5 (24 SCQF credit points)

Modern Studies Image

Why study Modern Studies?

Learning Modern Studies gives you a greater understanding of the contemporary world and your place in it.

You will learn contemporary political and social issues in local, Scottish, United Kingdom and international contexts, and, in these contexts, develop an awareness of the social and political issues you will meet in your life. You will also develop investigating, evaluating and analysing skills in order to understand and explain political, social and international issues.

The skills you learn in Modern Studies are valuable in many career areas, including public administration, business management, law, teaching and journalism.

Career Pathways

To see what career areas this subject could lead to and the routes to get there, download and view these career pathways:

Administration and Management

Arts, Social Sciences and Languages

Communications and Media

Information, Culture and Heritage


Social, Caring and Advisory Services

Uniformed and Security Services

What do I need to get in?

Entry is at the discretion of the school or college but you would normally have achieved:

What will I study?

Modern Studies helps to develop your understanding of how contemporary society is organised. You will study the role and actions of selected organisations and evaluate how effective they are in meeting their aims. You will also learn how human and legal rights and responsibilities are applied in different societies. You will develop a range of research and information handling skills.

The course comprises three areas of study.

Democracy in Scotland the United Kingdom

You will:

Social Issues in the United Kingdom

You will:

If you choose to focus on social inequality, you will examine a specific aspect of contemporary social inequality in the UK, looking at the causes and consequences of social inequality and attempts by government, organisations and individuals to tackle it

If you focus on crime and the law, you will examine the causes of crime; how crime affects individuals and society; and the role of individuals, the police, the legal system and the state in tackling crime.

International Issues

You will:

If you choose to study a world power, you will focus on contemporary socio-economic issues and study its political system.

If you choose to study a world issue, you will focus on a significant contemporary issue, its causes and consequences, and attempts at resolution.

How will I be assessed?

Course Assessment

The course assessment has one component totalling 80 marks:

The question paper will be set and externally marked by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

The grade awarded is based on the total marks achieved across all course assessment components.

The course assessment is graded A-D.

Study Materials

What can I go on to next?

If you complete the course successfully, it may lead to:

Further study, training or employment in:

Which jobs are related to this subject?

Where can my parents find out more?

Your school will give your parents an Options or Choices information booklet, which has detailed information on the curriculum and the individual subjects or courses you can study. It will also invite them along to a Parents’ Information Evening.

They can also read the information leaflet(s):

Nationals in a Nutshell - Modern Studies (National 5)