S5 and S6

Pupils in S5 and S6 are given the opportunity to study psychology (at Intermediate or Higher level) and Philosophy (S6 only).

Aims of Psychology – S5 and S6 (from SQA arrangements document)

The aims of Higher Psychology are:

  • to stimulate candidates’ initial interest in psychology, by providing both a broad overview of the discipline, and the opportunity to study a selection of topics in some depth
  • to develop an understanding of psychological theories, concepts, research studies, research methods, terminology and applications
  • to develop knowledge of psychology within its historical context, and thus develop an appreciation of the dynamic nature of the discipline, including the importance of both classic and contemporary research and theory
  • to promote a critical approach to the discipline as a science, emphasising empirical methodology, evidence-based theory and applications, continual updating of knowledge and the importance of ethical considerations

For all candidate groups, the Higher Psychology Course is designed to stimulate curiosity, enjoyment and opportunities for self-development. The study of psychology has unique potential to promote the development of cognitive, emotional and social skills which will enhance study activity, self-awareness, and conceptual understanding of issues of personal relevance. These are transferable skills of value in both personal and professional contexts, and it is intended that the Higher Course promotes these skills.

Aims of Philosophy -S6 (from SQA arrangements document)

The Course aims to allow candidates to:

  • develop critical thinking skills which are of importance in all areas of human life and discourse
  • develop knowledge and understanding of philosophical techniques, issues, positions and concepts which are relevant in many areas of human life and discourse
  • develop analytical and evaluative skills which will allow them to examine the reasoning and assumptions on which the positions and theories they study are based
  • present their own ideas and opinions in a reasoned and structured manner
  • gain insight from the ideas and opinions of others which may conflict with their own
  • engage personally with a range of important questions and issues in order to inform their own ideas and opinions in a way which contributes to personal and social development