SCQF LEVEL 7 - Adv Higher

The Advanced Higher course uses a multidisciplinary approach to develop candidates’ knowledge and understanding of contemporary Political Issues in regards to local, Scottish, United Kingdom and international contexts. Candidates develop the skills to interpret and participate in the social and political processes they encounter in their lives.  They study five areas for the final exam for Political Issues; Political Ideology, Political Structures and Power and Influence as well as Social Science Research Methods and carry out research and write a 5,000 word dissertation on their chosen topic. 


Advanced Higher Modern Studies


1 Year full time


5000 word dissertation


1 Exam-  

3 hours worth 90 marks in total. 




Mrs Cooper

Miss Jordan


This course is suitable for a range of candidates, from those who wish to achieve a greater understanding of contemporary society and their place in it, to those who wish to progress to more specialised training, further education e.g. university or employment.  


This course encourages candidates to develop a greater understanding of the contemporary world and their place in it. They have opportunities to develop important attitudes such as respect for the values, beliefs and cultures of others; openness to new thinking and ideas; and a sense of responsibility and global citizenship.  


The course enables candidates to demonstrate autonomy in their learning through researching and analysing, extended writing, independent study skills, and applying critical thinking.   


Progression from this course can lead to studying degree courses in social subjects and social sciences or related areas, further study, employment and/or training.  


In Advanced Higher Modern Studies candidates will study Political Issues and Research Methods. There is considerable flexibility in the themes that can be studied within each area, to allow for personalisation and choice.  


Candidates use a comparative approach to analyse and evaluate similarities and differences between the UK (including Scotland) and other international countries in relation to complex political issues. Candidates have flexibility in the international countries they choose to compare with the UK.    


Candidates study social science research methods and issues. Relevant case studies and examples are used from either contemporary contexts, academic contexts, or the candidate’s own use of social science research methods.  



The course assessment consists of one question paper.   

This will be marked by SQA and is worth 90 marks out of 140 available.   


The dissertation is completed over the course of the year and the candidate can pick a political topic of their choice that links to Political Ideology, Political Structures and Power and Influence.  Some topics chosen in recent years have been on Media/Social Media, Voting Behaviour and Social Class, Devolution, Brexit, Alt-Right, Populism, The Far-Right, Socialism, Communism. The dissertation will be marked by the SQA and is worth 50 marks out of 140 available.  


Everything you need to know before selecting this course

entry requirements

Candidates should have achieved the Higher Modern Studies course or equivalent qualifications and/or experience prior to starting this course. 

what will you get?

Advanced Higher in Modern studies

The course is graded  

A: Band 1, Band 2 

B: Band 3, Band 4 

C: Band 5, Band 6 

D: Band 7 


Everything you need to know about future pathways from this course


Most careers will benefit from your experience in Modern Studies however some jobs more closely related to the skills and knowledge developed include journalist, criminal intelligence analyst, solicitor, diplomatic service officer, economic development officer, local government officer, newspaper or magazine editor, political representative such as MP and MSP, police officer, social worker, tourist guide, TV production runner and welfare rights officer.   

Skills, knowledge and understanding for the course:  

The following provides a broad overview of the subject skills, knowledge and understanding developed in the course:  

Skills developed through studying Modern Studies:  


Literacy/Communication: Reading and writing, working with others, presenting findings, using clear and concise language.  

Numeracy: Information handling, using graphs and multiple sources.   

Problem Solving: Working independently, resilience, time management, positive work ethic.  

Thinking Skills: Applying knowledge, analysing and evaluating.  

Employability: Enterprise and citizenship: active and responsible citizenship.  

Leadership: Leading groups, building confidence, organisational skills. You are required to complete coursework which demands you to take responsibility for your own learning and have a proactive, motivated attitude towards your studies.  

Teamwork: Working successfully in a group, delegation, presenting information.  

Other: Making conclusions, making comparisons, justifying a decision, analysing how accurate sources are.  

my world of work

This link will take you to an excellent resource on MyWOW which looks at potential career routes when you select a combination of subjects. 


Information from pupils who have studied this course as to how they feel it was.