Learner Pathway

The following Learner Pathway is available for Politics: 

Course Information

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

Higher Politics

What will I learn in this subject?
Everything in the world is touched by politics to some extent, and so it is a good idea to study politics as an academic subject in terms of developing as a global and informed citizen.

The Higher Politics course comprises three units: Political Theory, Political Systems and Political Parties and Elections. You can work through these at your own pace and there will be frequent opportunities to work digitally with your instructor. We recommend that you begin the course with “Political Theory” as the subsequent units build upon the ideas covered in this first unit.
Pupils study the key political concepts of power, authority and legitimacy, with particular reference to the work of Steven Lukes and Max Weber, and analyse the relevance of these concepts today.

They study the nature of democracy and the arguments for and against direct and representative democracy, including the works of relevant theorists.

Pupils study the key ideas of two political ideologies (from Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism, Nationalism, and Fascism) including the works of relevant theorists, and draw balanced conclusions about the chosen ideologies.

Relevant case studies are used from either local, national or international contexts, as well as different historical contexts.  
How will I be assessed?
The Higher Course Assignment (30 marks - 27% of final grade)
1 hour 30 minutes write up, under exam conditions
Higher Politics Examination (80 marks - 73% of final grade)
Paper 1: Skills-based paper lasting 1 hour 15 minutes (52 marks)
Paper 2: Essay-based paper which lasts 1 hour 45 min (28 marks)
In Paper I pupils need to complete two 20-mark questions and a 12-mark question. In Paper II pupils need to complete two information handling skills-based questions, one worth 8 marks and the other worth 20 marks based on electoral data.
The assignment allows pupils to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding:
  • identifying a political issue that invites discussion and debate
  • researching a political issue using a range of sources of information
  • showing detailed factual and theoretical knowledge and understanding of a political issue
  • communicating information from, and referring to, political sources
  • analysing and synthesising information in a structured manner
  • drawing a detailed and reasoned conclusion, showing an awareness of different points of view
The assignment component has 30 marks out of a total of 110 marks for course assessment. The assignment is therefore worth 27% of the overall marks for the course assessment. 
What are the entry requirements for this subject/level?
Achieved grade A - C in National 5 Modern Studies and/or National 5 English.