Welcome to the Modern studies department at Inverness Royal Academy
What is Modern Studies?
Modern Studies, unique to the Scottish curriculum, is the study of social, political and economic issues in the UK and around the world. The two links below offer detailed information about all aspects of Modern Studies.
Past papers and full details on all levels of Modern Studies can be found at the SQA website, just click on the link below:
Broadcast & Media Marketing
Civil Service Police
Journalism Social Care/Work
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Modern Studies is offered throughout the school, from S2 through to Advanced Higher level.
S2: Pupils study a range of topics from the following list:
Politics & Democracy
Conflict & Co-operation
Law & Order
The purpose of the course is to inform pupils of their role as citizens at all levels of
society, from local issues to international. There are a range of assessments in both
formative & summative styles.
S3/4: Standard Grade:
The course covers four main syllabus areas:
Living in a Democracy
Pupils are examined at the end of S4 using the SQA standard grade paper. Each
pupil takes the General paper and either Credit or Foundation level. The papers
include written and numerical sources which the pupils have to learn interpret, as
well as knowledge based questions on all four syllabus areas.
Higher Modern Studies
Modern Studies is one of SQA’s most popular National Qualifications.
The subject is taught throughout Scotland and is respected by employers and
universities, especially faculties of Law and Humanities.
Assessment in Higher Modern Studies is carried out internally and externally.
Internally within schools and colleges, students sit assessments drawn from the SQA
National Assessment Bank (commonly referred to as “NABs”).Externally, students sit a two-paper examination in the May of the academic year.
To gain the full award, students need to pass all the internal assessments and the
external exam, which is graded A-D, C being the pass mark.
Political Issues in the UK (Essays 15 marks
Social Issues in the UK: Wealth and Health
Inequalities (Essay 15 marks)
Section C International Issues (Essays 15 marks)
Paper 2 Short Evaluating Questions (10)
Decision Making Exercise: Wealth and
Health Inequalities in the UK (20 marks)
Within each Section there are Study Themes.
In the SQA exam, students must answer a question from a Study Theme in Section
A: Political Issues in the UK, Section B: Social Issues in the UK and Section C:
International Issues, then another one from either A or C, but NOT B.
Students must then sit Paper 2, which is a Decision Making Exercise, taken from
Section B: Social Issues in the UK
This course is set at first year university level and the focus of the advanced higher is
on Law & Order. Pupils study Criminology and take a 3 hour final exam. They are
asked to write two essays and a set of Research Method based questions. In
addition to this pupils are also asked to deliver a 5000 word dissertation on either of
Context A: Rights & Responsibilities in relation to Law & Order – the focus is on
the rule of law and the values which underpin it. They also study the nature and
extent of individual liberty & human rights in relation to law & order. The impact of having rights legislation and an unwritten constitution. Channels of grievance are
also addressed, such as the ECHR, as well as the role of the media.
Context B: The Causes & Effects of Crime in the UK – the focus is on the causes
of crime with reference to the relative merits of sociological, psychological &
physiological theories. The role between crime and various Social & Economic
factors is also examined. Pupils assess the impact of crime on individuals and
various groups within society.