SCQF LEVEL 6 - Higher

Physics is the study of matter, energy and the interactions between them. This entails asking fundamental questions and trying to answer them by observing and experimenting. This often leads to advances in our understanding of the world around us, resulting in technological improvements which enhance the lives of all. The study of physics is of benefit, not only to those intending to pursue a career in science & engineering, but also to those interested in areas such as the health, energy, leisure and computing industries. 


Higher Physics


1 Year full time/

6 periods per week


Assignment (20 marks scaled to 30)  

Candidates have a notional 8 hours, of which a maximum of 2 hours is allowed for the report stage (write-up). This is undertaken in class under exam conditions and is externally marked by SQA.  


Question paper (3 hours – 120 marks) 

Paper 1: multiple choice, 25 marks (duration - 45 mins)  

Paper 2: written paper, 130 scaled to 95 marks (duration - 2 hours 15 mins) 




Mrs Brennan

Mr Byrne

Ms Przygoda



Physics gives candidates an insight into the underlying nature of our world and its place in the universe. From the sources of the energy we use, to the exploration of space, it covers a range of applications of the relationships that have been discovered through experiment and calculation, including those used in modern technology.  A Physics qualification opens the door to many routes of employment, further and higher education. 

An experimental and investigative approach is used to develop knowledge and understanding of physics concepts. 

  • Active and independent learning through self and peer evaluations, setting targets, making independent decisions, using feedback 

  • A blend of classroom approaches including challenging experimental, practical and investigative approaches, whole class discussions and interactive teaching 

  • Collaborative learning: working with others in group or partner activities; inter-disciplinary learning with other sciences, mathematics, technologies, religious and moral education, and with organisations such as STEMNET 

  • Personalisation and choice: learners choose their methodology, what to observe or measure, including Assignment topic focus 

  • Applying learning and problem solving in familiar and unfamiliar situations 

  • Embedding literacy and numeracy skills: researching, selecting, summarising and presenting information using a range of sources; evaluating; recording and interpreting more complex data; using technology and data loggers. 


Everything you need to know before selecting this course

entry requirements

National 5 Physics at grades A-C or equivalent level 5 Science qualification. 

National 5 Maths at Grade A-B would also be of benefit to prospective Higher Physics Candidates. 

what will you get?

This course is graded A-D

You will also get:

  • Depth of physics knowledge and understanding of  

  • applications and the use of technology, equipment and materials 

  • safe scientific working practice  

  • the role of physics in scientific issues 

  • relevant applications of physics in society and the environment 

  • Continued development of scientific analytical thinking and problem solving skills within a physics context and for more advanced learning 


Everything you need to know about future pathways from this course


Physics is useful within the majority of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) careers and you’ll find physicists everywhere, in industry, transport, government, universities, the armed forces, the secret service, games companies, research labs and more. 


Specific fields include: 

  • engineering (aviation, construction, mechanical, etc) 

  • health and diagnostics 

  • astronomy & space exploration 

  • robotics 

  • renewable energies 

  • computer science 

  • communications 

  • science writing 

  • sports and games technology  

  • research and nanotechnology  

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. 

Meldrum Academy, Colpy Road, Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, AB51 0NT