Modern Studies and Politics

Modern Studies is the social, political and economic study of local, national and international issues. Modern Studies is unique to the Scottish Schools’ curriculum and has come a long way since its introduction to the curriculum over 40 years ago. It is a combination of politics, sociology and international relations and can be taken at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher level.

Pupils study a broad range of topics. The Department’s aim is to encourage all pupils to develop an interest in the modern world and to foster an understanding of the key issues, topics and controversies which exist in today’s society.

We use a wide range of activities to encourage our pupils to take responsibility for their own learning, provide them with the essential skills they will need to succeed in the world beyond school and enable them to better develop their understanding of the seven key concepts underpinning our subject: equality, ideology, need, participation, power, representation, rights and responsibilities.

Through varied teaching strategies, pupils will be encouraged to develop their skills in communication, research and analysis, contributing to their personal, social and intellectual development. Researching and evaluating information accurately is a great help to the literacy and numeracy skills of our students. Essay writing techniques, using evidence and construction of reports, decision-making exercises and syntheses of knowledge from various sources are all powerful transferable skills which our pupils frequently draw upon in study and employment beyond school.

The Department seeks to develop pupils’ understanding through a range of learning and teaching experiences. These include individual and group work, written tasks and source work, role play and debate, and the use of varied resources including ICT and audiovisual resources. Pupils are given many opportunities to develop their interests in our subject areas beyond the classroom, through field trips, visits from guest speakers, competitions and a variety of other activities. Through our varied learning and teaching strategies, and the use of peer and formative assessments, as well as formal ones, the Department seeks to aid pupils in becoming independent learners.

Pupils in S1 study Modern Studies and are provided with a basic political literacy of the world in which they live. In S3 pupils then follow examinations at National 5 leading to Higher and Advanced Higher. 

Subject Information - Modern Studies Subject Information - Politics