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SCQF LEVEL 4/5 - NAT 4/5

The National History course allows candidates to develop a greater understanding of the world by learning about other people and their values, in different times, places and circumstances. The course helps candidates to explore Great Britain and Scotland’s past and develop an understanding of our role in shaping the modern world. They will develop an understanding of why key events happened and their impact on the world today.  They will be able to link what they have learned in S1,2 and 3 with topics covered throughout the National course. This will be achieved through the study of three main units, Migration and Empire, Changing Britain 1760-1900 and Hitler and Nazi Germany 1918 – 1939. There is also an independent research project  (Assignment)into a topic of the candidate’s choice.  


National 4 or 5


1 year/5 periods a week


National 5: Research Project (Assignment) write-up of 1 hour

National 4: Units which are internally assessed and research project (Added Value Unit)


National 5: Question paper 2hours 20 minutes

National 4: No external exam


No costs linked to this course


Miss Catton

Mrs Jackson

Mrs Fleming



National History gives candidates opportunities to develop greater understanding into the history of our country and its impact on the development and place in the modern world.  Pupils develop important attributes such as confidence,  an open mind and 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 also emphasises the development and application of skills. The focus on evaluating sources develops candidates’ thinking skills. They also develop skills in literacy through using and synthesising information in different ways. 

By working through the units which make up the National History course you will experience and develop:

  • a conceptual understanding of the past and an ability to think independently

  • a range of skills including the ability to apply a detailed historical perspective in a range of contexts 

  • an understanding of the relationship between factors contributing to, and the impact of, historical events

  • the skills of analysing, evaluating and synthesising historical information

  • the skills of researching complex historical issues, drawing well-reasoned conclusions


The course assessment at National 5 consists of 1 exam paper covering all 3 topics for a total of 80 marks. The course assessment at National 4 consists of unit assessments and an added value unit. Both have the aim of allowing pupils to demonstrate the following:


  • developing and applying knowledge and understanding and skills across contexts from Scottish, British, and European and World history 

  •  evaluating the origin, purpose, content and context of a wide range of historical sources 

  • explaining the impact of historical developments and analysing the factors contributing to historical developments; drawing a reasoned conclusion

  •  demonstrating a detailed factual knowledge and understanding of historical themes and events in Scottish, British, and European and World contexts


An assignment and added value unit is a write-up about research you completed into a topic of your choice.  Some topics chosen in recent years include the reasons why people voted for Hitler, the reasons for the spread of disease during Victorian times, the extent Scots had a positive impact on their new countries to name but a few. The assignment is marked out of 20 at National 5 by the SQA and the added value unit is marked Pass or Fail by your class teacher.


Both the question paper and the assignment are marked by the SQA.


Everything you need to know before selecting this course

entry requirements

Pupils who are taking National 4 or 5 English.  Signature of a history teacher (Miss Catton, Mrs Fleming or Mrs. Jackson) or the PT of Social Subjects. 

what will you get?

The course is graded  

A: Band 1, Band 2 

B: Band 3, Band 4 

C: Band 5, Band 6 

D: Band 7, Band 8 


Everything you need to know about future pathways from this course


Most careers will benefit from your experience in History however some jobs more closely related to the skills and knowledge developed include teacher, art gallery curator, museums work, tourism, archivist, antiques dealer, archaeologist, conservator, civil service, law and journalism. 



Skills developed through History: 

Problem Solving: 

working independently, resilience, time management, positive work ethic. 


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. 


working successfully in a group, delegation, presenting information. 


working with others, presenting findings, using clear and concise language. 


making conclusions, making and justifying a decision, analysing and evaluating sources and historical arguments. 

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.

Conor - S4

“I took History because the subject interests me and I like learning new things about the past and how we’ve advanced.” 

Middle Ages Castle

Millie - S4

“I took History because I wanted to learn about the war and the Suffragettes and how they made an impact.” 

Old City

Jeana - S4

“I took History because I enjoy History and need it for the job I want to do.” 

Castle by the Lake
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