Physics

Learner Pathway

The following Learner Pathway is available for Physics: 

Course Information

Please click on the + to reveal the course information for each level:

National 3 & National 4 Physics

What will I learn in this subject?
The units that will be covered are:
Electricity and Energy - Electrical generation, electrical circuits, electromagnetism
Dynamics and space – d=st, forces, space exploration, satellites
Waves and Radiation – Waves, radioactivity, sound
   
How will I be assessed?
At National 3 and 4, the three units are internally assessed on a pass/fail basis, including knowledge, problem solving and practical abilities.
        
What are the entry requirements for this subject/level?
No entry requirements.

National 5 Physics

What will I learn in this subject?
The course consists of three units:
Electricity and Energy – Electrical generation, electrical circuits, electromagnetism
Dynamics and space – Speed, Distance, Time, Vectors, forces, space exploration, satellites
Waves and Radiation – Waves, radioactivity, sound
   
How will I be assessed?
The course is assessed in two parts: a Final SQA Examination (Multiple Choice - 25 Marks, Written Answers - 110 over 2.5 hours) worth 80% of final grade. and an Assignment (based around an experimental write up) worth 20% of final grade.
  
What are the entry requirements for this subject/level?
Achieved National 4 Physics. 

Higher Physics

What will I learn in this subject?
The course consists of the following units:
  
Our Dynamic Universe - forces, vectors, special relativity, the Big Bang Theory, Doppler and Redshift.
   
Particles and Waves - Quark Theory, Wave Particle Duality, Nuclear radiation.
  
Electromagnetism - electromotive force, resistor systems, semiconductors.
  
This subject is often a good choice for people who are good at or interested in astronomy and space, medical careers, scientific research, technology and IT, oil and gas, engineering, and increasing industry in renewable energy. Many people with a physics qualification also work in journalism, the government, the environment and finance (over 30% of Physics graduates work in finance). 
   
How will I be assessed?
The Higher Physics exam is assessed externally within an SQA question paper (Multiple Choice - 25 marks, Written Answers - 130 marks. Combined 80% of Final Grade) and a Research assignment (20 marks. 20% of Final Grade).
     
What are the entry requirements for this subject/level?
Achieved National 5 Physics (at an A or B grade is desirable). A pass at National 5 Maths is also recommended.

Advanced Higher Physics

What will I learn in this subject?
The course consists of the following units:
    
Rotational Motion and Astrophysics – angular motion, an astronomical perspective is developed through a study of gravitation, leading to work on general relatively and stellar physics.
  
Quanta and Waves – non-classical physics the origin and composition of cosmic radiation. Simple harmonic motion is introduced and work on wave theory is developed.
  
Electromagnetism – electric and magnetic fields and capacitors and inductors used in d.c. and a.c. circuits.
    
Organic Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis – learners will research the structure of organic compounds, including aromatics and amine, and draw on this to explain the physical and chemical properties of the compounds.
     
Researching Chemistry – learners will develop the key skills associated with a variety of different practical techniques, including the related calculations.
   
How will I be assessed?
The Advanced Higher Physics exam is assessed externally with an SQA question paper.
 
The project is also assessed externally, worth 30% of the overall grade.
      
What are the entry requirements for this subject/level?
Achieved Higher Physics. A pass at Higher Maths is also recommended (pupils should see their physics teacher regarding maths).