Higher Modern Studies
The Higher Modern Studies Course develops learners’ knowledge and understanding of contemporary political and social issues in local, Scottish, United Kingdom and international contexts. In these contexts, learners develop an awareness of the social and political issues they will meet in their lives.
Updates and announcements
Minor update to Higher specimen question paper
As we advised centres last session, the 8 mark 'to what extent' source question in the Higher Modern Studies question paper would include the following prompt from 2016 onwards:
'In your answer, you may wish to evaluate the reliability of the sources'.
This prompt was included in the 2016 question paper, and we have now included it in the Higher specimen question paper. The updated specimen question paper is dated September 2016 and is available from the Assessment Support section below.
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.
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.
Past Papers and Marking Instructions
Specimen and Exemplar Question Papers and Marking Instructions
These illustrate the standard, structure and requirements of the question papers learners will sit. These also include marking instructions.
- Higher Modern Studies Specimen Question Paper
- Higher Modern Studies Specimen Question (Gaelic Medium)
Questions in the Higher Modern Studies question paper will now be numbered sequentially throughout, as shown in the Exemplar Question Paper. The Specimen Question Paper will be updated to reflect this in due course.
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.
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.
Verification and Course Reports
There was no Round 1 verification activity at this level in 2016.
- Modern Studies: Quality Assurance - external verification
- 2015 Higher Modern Studies Course Report
- Modern Studies Verification Key Messages
- Modern Studies Verification Key Messages Round 1
- 2016 Higher Modern Studies Course Report