National 5 Psychology
The National 5 Psychology Course enables learners to use appropriate psychological concepts, theories, research methods and evidence to investigate and explain human behaviour in a range of contexts.
Updates and announcements
Reminder of threshold approach that can be used in unit assessments
As we outlined in the Subject Review Report for Psychology that was published in May 2016, a threshold can now be applied to the judgement of assessment standards in units. If a candidate successfully meets the requirements indicated below, they will be judged to have passed the unit and no further re-assessment will be required.
- Individual Behaviour unit — for assessment standard 1.2, only one approach will be required. This will also reduce the demands for 1.3.
- Research unit — for assessment standard 1.2, only one advantage and one disadvantage will be required and this can be for either experimental or non-experimental method.
- Social Behaviour unit — for assessment standard 1.3, the number of concepts will be specified and only one example of everyday social behaviour will be required.
- Social Behaviour unit — for assessment Standard 1.1 and 1.3, we have specified the number of concepts.
- Research unit — for assessment standard 1.2, either experimental or non-experimental method is required. For assessment standard 1.4, only one sampling method is required. Where candidates are being entered for the Higher course, assignment evidence can be used as evidence to meet the assessment standards for the Research unit, where appropriate. This will the duplication of assessment in this area.
The above thresholds have been put in place to reduce the volume of re-assessment where required. Candidates must still be given the opportunity to meet all assessment standards in preparation for course assessment.
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
There will be no change to the assignment; however the revised Course Specification will provide further clarification on the conditions for assessment. We will also make available the template for the assignment that was previously provided.
The assignment will be worth 30 marks and will contribute to 30% 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 70 marks. The duration of the exam will therefore also increase.
The exam will contribute to 70% of the course assessment.
Each year, the question paper will sample mandatory content along with a series of specific optional topics. This is a similar approach to the question paper that was previously used in the Intermediate 2 course.
Reasons for this change
The question paper is being extended to ensure it samples a greater amount of 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 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.
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 Question Papers and Marking Instructions
These illustrate the standard, structure and requirements of the question papers learners will sit. These also include marking instructions.
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 Psychology
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 verification activity for this subject for Round 2 of Verification therefore there are no subject specific Key Messages available for this round of verification, however subject specific Key Messages were published following completion of Round 1.