This Course is valid from August 2014.
The Higher Psychology Course enables learners to use appropriate psychological concepts, theories, research methods and evidence to investigate and analyse internal and external influences on human behaviour in a range of different 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.
Higher Psychology assignment briefs
We have updated the Higher Psychology Coursework Assessment Task document to include assignment briefs for use in session 2016–17. The briefs can be found in Appendix 2 of the document. Please note that the same briefs used in session 2015–16 will also be used in session 2016–17, therefore only very minor changes have been made to the briefs.
Other sections of the Coursework Assessment Task document have been updated, therefore it is recommended that centres download the most recent version of the document.
The Coursework Assessment Task document is available on SQA's secure site. To access the secure site, please contact your SQA Co-ordinator.
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.
- Higher Psychology 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.
- Higher Psychology Specimen Question Paper
Questions in the Higher Psychology 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.
- General assessment information for Higher 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.