SCQF LEVEL 5 - National 5

Physics is the study of matter, energy and the interaction between them. This entails asking fundamental questions and trying to answer them by observing and experimenting. The answers to such questions can lead to advances in our understanding of the world around us and often result 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, but also to those intending to work in areas such as the health, energy, leisure and computing industries. 


National 5


1 Year full time/

5 periods per week


Externally marked Assignment – 

8 hours, of which a maximum of 1 hour and 30 minutes is allocated to the report stage 

(total of 25 marks) 


Total course is out of 125 marks. 


External Exam-  

2 hours and 30 minutes 

(total of 100 marks) 




Mrs Brennan 

Mr Byrne 

Mrs 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. 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; intercurricular learning with other sciences, mathematics, technologies, religious and moral education; with organisations such as STEMNET 

  • Space for personalisation and choice: learners can choose what to observe or measure and their methodology; learners will choose the topic for their Assignment 

  • Applying learning 

  • 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 4 Physics course or equivalent qualifications  

what will you get?

  • develop and apply knowledge and understanding of physics 

  • develop the use of technology, equipment and materials, safely, in practical scientific activities 

  • develop an understanding of the role of physics in scientific issues and relevant applications of physics in society and the environment 

  • develop scientific analytical thinking skills in a physics context 

  • develop the knowledge and skills for more advanced learning in physics 


Everything you need to know about future pathways from this course


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


Specific fields include: 

  • engineering (flight, buildings, space, you name it…), 

  • astronomy,  

  • robotics,  

  • renewable energies,  

  • computer science,  

  • communications,  

  • space exploration,  

  • science writing,  

  • sports and games technology,  

  • research and nanotechnology  

physicists diagnose disease, model the climate, design computer games, predict markets and design hi-tech goods.  Studying physics opens doors. 

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