National 5 Music
The National 5 Music Course enables learners to perform challenging music, create original music using compositional methods and music concepts, and broaden their knowledge and understanding of music and musical literacy. The Course also enables learners to develop knowledge of the social and cultural factors that influence music.
Updates and announcements
- October 2016 subject update (304 KB)
- May 2016 subject update (241 KB)
- October 2015 subject update (347 KB)
- August 2015 subject update (147 KB)
- May 2015 subject update (219 KB)
- January 2015 subject update - Advanced Higher (441 KB)
- September 2014 subject update (419 KB)
- Special Edition Update June 2014 (152 KB)
- September 2013 update letter (177 KB)
Changes to assessment in the National 5 course from session 2017-18
Following the Deputy First Minister’s announcement that units and unit assessments will be removed from National 5 to Advanced Higher courses, we are strengthening the course assessment to ensure it covers the full content of the course.
The following summary provides a quick look at what is needed to strengthen the course assessment in your National 5 course. These changes will take effect from session 2017-18 onwards. More detailed information will be provided in the revised Course Specifications, which will be available by the end of April 2017.
Changes to coursework
A new assignment will be introduced that will assess composing skills. The requirements of the assignment will be similar to that of the current Music: Composing Skills unit, however it will be externally assessed by SQA.The assignment will be worth 30 marks and will contribute to 15% of the course assessment.
There are no changes to the performance component. The performance will be worth 60 marks and will contribute to 50% of the course assessment.
There are no changes to the exam. It will continue to be worth 40 marks and will contribute to 35% of the course assessment.
Reasons for this change
The new assignment will assess composing, a key aspect of the course that is currently assessed as part of the Music: Composing Skills unit.
Scaling will be applied to achieve the following weightings: performance 50%, question paper 35% and assignment 15%.
This explains the overall structure of the Course, including its purpose and aims and information on the skills, knowledge and understanding that will be developed.
- N5 Music Course Specification
Course Assessment Specification
This explains the structure of the Course assessment; including the type and method of assessment. It also includes information on Course coverage.
- N5 Music Course Assessment Specification
These provide an outline of what each Unit will cover within the Course and detail the Outcomes and Assessment Standards.
Advice and guidance
Course and Unit Support Notes
These provide advice and guidance for teachers/lecturers on learning, teaching and assessment within the Course and its Units.
The following document contains the Course Support Notes and the Unit Support Notes for this Course. They can be printed together or separately.
Past Papers and Marking Instructions
Specimen Question Papers and Marking Instructions
These illustrate the standard, structure and requirements of the question papers learners will sit. These also include marking instructions.
- Music Specimen Question Paper National 5
General assessment information provides instructions for the conduct of coursework, an overview of the assessment task, evidence to be gathered and general marking instructions.
Coursework assessment tasks provide the live assessment task, including marking instructions and instructions for candidates. Teachers/lecturers can access these confidential documents through their SQA Co-ordinator.
Unit Assessment Support
These documents contain details of Unit assessment task(s), show approaches to gathering evidence and how the evidence can be judged against the Outcomes and Assessment Standards. Teachers/lecturers can arrange access to these confidential documents through their SQA Co-ordinator.
Understanding Standards materials
We are publishing examples of candidate evidence with commentaries as part of our Understanding Standards programme. These materials are for teachers and lecturers to help them develop their understanding of the standards required for assessment. As these materials become available, they are being published in the following locations:
- Available from our secure website Materials relating to Unit assessment, internally assessed components of Course assessment, and externally assessed components of Course assessment which are subject to visiting assessment. Teachers and lecturers can arrange access to these materials through their SQA Co-ordinator.
- Available from our Understanding Standards website Materials relating to externally assessed components of Course assessment, with the exception of those subject to visiting assessment.
More information on our Understanding Standards programme, can be found on our Understanding Standards page.