National 5 Computing Science
The National 5 Computing Science Course develops knowledge and understanding of key concepts and processes in computing science; enabling learners to apply skills and knowledge in analysis, design, implementation and evaluation to a range of digital solutions. Learners communicate computing concepts and explain computational behaviour clearly and concisely using appropriate terminology, and develop an understanding of the role and impact of computing science in changing and influencing our environment and society.
Updates and announcements
- October 2015 subject update (320 KB)
- August 2015 subject update (National 3 - National 4 - National 5 - Higher) (129 KB)
- May 2015 subject update (199 KB)
- January 2015 subject update - Advanced Higher (484 KB)
- September 2014 subject update (396 KB)
- Special Edition Update June 2014 (152 KB)
- September 2013 update letter
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.
- Computing Science Course Specification
- Computing Science Course Specification Comparison
The comparison document illustrates the additional information provided in the updated version compared with the previous version.
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.
- Computing Science Course Assessment Specification session 2015/2016
- Computing Science Course Assessment Specification session 2016/2017
- Computing Science Course Assessment Specification session 2016/2017 comparison
These provide an outline of what each Unit will cover within the Course and detail the Outcomes and Assessment Standards.
- Information System Design and Development (National 5) Unit Specification
- Software Design and Development (National 5) Unit Specification
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.
- Computing Science Specimen Question Paper National 5
- Guidance on the use of past paper questions for National 5 Computing Science
- Question Paper Brief - National 5 Computing Science
Hodder Education have produced sets of additional model papers that include copies of the our Specimen Question Papers, and are available to buy.
The National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS) have also produced National 5 Revision in a Nutshell documents to help learners prepare for National 5 exams.
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.
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
- Computing Science Verification Key Messages
- 2014 National 5 Computing Science Course Report
- 2015 National 5 Computing Science Course Report
- Computing Science Verification Key Messages
- Computing Science Verification Key Messages Round 1
Reference language specification
- Computing Science National 5 Reference Language Specification (335 KB)