Breadcrumb navigation:

Choose a subject

Sub navigation:

Higher Mathematics

Higher Mathematics

This Course is valid from August 2014.

Access information on the existing NQ Higher Courses.

The Higher Mathematics Course enables learners to select and apply mathematical techniques in a variety of mathematical situations. Learners interpret, communicate and manage information in mathematical form.

Mathematics homepage

Qualification content and delivery tools

The documents on this page are for teachers and lecturers.

Learners studying this qualification may also find the documents useful.

The 'Related information' panel on this page contains information that applies to all new National Qualifications in this subject.

Updates and announcements

Notification of changes

13 June 2014

Higher Course Specifications, Unit Specifications and Course Assessment Specifications have been updated in April and May 2014. To correspond with these updates, the Course and Unit Support Notes have been revised in June 2014. The intention of these updates is to provide teachers and lecturers with further information and clarification.

As part of these planned updates, we have also updated packages 1 and 2 of Unit assessment support for Higher. This is to ensure consistency and continuity across all of the Unit assessment support packs. Updated versions were published in May 2014 and are valid from August 2014. While we would encourage teachers and lecturers to use the most up-to-date versions when planning their assessments, they are free to use the previous versions, and both will be accepted for verification purposes.

All documents and Unit assessment support packs will contain version information. A detailed list of the changes is available on the notification of changes spreadsheet.

Guidance on the use of past paper questions

29 May 2014

We have produced a support document to help teachers and lecturers identify suitable past paper questions/items that could be used, or amended, to support learners in their preparation for sitting Higher question papers.

The advice reflects questions selected from 2011 to 2013 past papers.

The document is available under the Specimen question paper and marking instructions heading.

Unit Assessment Support Package 2

Following feedback gathered from teachers and lecturers, including feedback obtained during our Higher Subject Implementation events, an additional Unit assessment support pack has been published for Higher Mathematics as part of package 2.

There are two Unit assessment support packs; package 2a and package 2b, which illustrate the following approaches to assessment:

  • judging Assessment Standards for Outcome 1 by marks threshold
  • judging Assessment Standards for Outcome 1 by sub-skills threshold

SQA listens very carefully to feedback and we have produced this additional Unit assessment support to reflect the interests of teachers, lecturers and learners.

Mandatory information

Course Specification

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.


The comparative document above clearly illustrates the additional information provided in the updated Course Specification compared with the version published in April 2012.

Course Assessment Specification

The Course Assessment Specification explains the structure of the Course assessment; including the type and method of assessment. It also includes information on Course coverage.

The comparative document above clearly illustrates the additional information provided in the updated Course Assessment Specification (following development of the Specimen Question Paper and Coursework) compared with the version published in April 2012.

Unit Specifications

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.

Assessment support

Specimen Question Paper and Marking Instructions

These illustrate the standard, structure and requirements of the question papers learners will sit. These also include marking instructions.

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.