National 5 Philosophy
The National 5 Philosophy Course enables learners to develop a basic knowledge and understanding of philosophy and philosophers, as well as thinking, analytical and evaluative skills appropriate to philosophy.
Updates and announcements
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
The assignment will be reduced from 30 marks to 20 marks and the task will be revised to reflect this. The revised course documentation will also clarify the assessment conditions.
The assignment will contribute to 20% of the course assessment.
Changes to exam
The question paper will be extended to include more questions and the number of available marks will increase from 50 marks to 80 marks. The duration of the exam will therefore also increase.
The question paper will allow for an increase in the marks allocated to the assessment of the Arguments in Action section and increased sampling in the other two sections.
The exam will contribute to 80% of the course assessment.
Reasons for this change
Both components have been amended to assess the knowledge and understanding that is currently assessed in the units.
The question paper is being extended and the number of marks for the assignment is being reduced, to allow for greater sampling across the course content following the removal of units.
The clarification of the conditions of assessment for the assignment, and the adjustment of the component weightings, will enhance the reliability of the overall course assessment.
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 Philosophy 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.
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.
- National 5 Philosophy Course and Unit Support Notes
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.
- Philosophy 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.
- General assessment information for National 5 Philosophy
Information on the production and submission of SQA-assessed coursework for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.
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.