National 4 Physics
The National 4 Physics Course enables learners to develop the ability to solve problems and establish relationships in physics by acquiring a broad knowledge base, practical skills and basic mathematical skills.
Updates and announcements
- October 2016 subject update (281 KB)
- May 2016 subject update (203 KB)
- October 2015 subject update (316 KB)
- August 2015 subject update (98 KB)
- May 2015 subject update (207 KB)
- January 2015 subject update - Advanced Higher (504 KB)
- September 2014 subject update
- Special Edition Update June 2014 (152 KB)
- September 2013 update letter
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.
These provide an outline of what each Unit will cover within the Course and detail the Outcomes and Assessment Standards.
Added Value Unit Specification
These define the mandatory requirements for the Added Value Unit, including the Outcomes and Assessment Standards.
They also include the further mandatory information on Course coverage for the National 4 Course and include information on the assessment method to be used and the conditions of assessment.
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.
Past Papers and Marking Instructions
Added Value Unit Assessment
The Physics Added Value Unit assessment is an assignment. While describing what candidates must do, the published assessment offers considerable flexibility in the choice of a context for the assessment.
In the assessment, candidates apply skills, knowledge and understanding to investigate a topical issue in physics and its impact on the environment and/or society. The issue should draw on one or more of the key areas of the Course, and should be chosen with guidance from the assessor.
Centres can access the assessment through their SQA Co-ordinator.
Information on suggested topical issues can be found in the National 4 Physics Course and Unit Support Notes. It is not mandatory to use any of the topical issues suggested. A resource pack for one possible context for this assignment is also included in the National 4 Physics Course and Unit Support Notes.
As with all SQA Unit assessments, Added Value Unit assessments must be internally verified by centres.
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.
Verification and Course Reports
General marking principles
This publication replaces Physics General Marking Instructions (publication code G0924, published July 1999).