Welcome to the Physics department.

Why Study Physics?

Physics is a challenging and interesting subject which will help you to understand the world and universe around you! Physics is also an important qualification for many careers because it emphasizes critical thinking skills.

A qualification in Physics will allow you to work in many disciplines such as apprenticeships, engineering, medicine, architecture, law, accountancy, biotechnology etc.  Regardless of which career path you wish to choose a qualification in physics will make you more attractive to university recruiters and future employers even if you don’t want to follow one of the career paths mentioned because it shows you have good problem solving skills.


National 4 and 5 Physics

National 4 and 5 Physics is split into 3 units that builds on Knowledge gained from S1-3:


  • Dynamics and Space: This unit covers how we actually make different types of measurements such as vectors and scalars, velocity and acceleration, Newton’s laws, projectile motions, space travel and observations and cosmology.
  • Electricity and Energy: This looks further at fossil fuels and renewable energies, the generation and distribution of electricity to society, the construction of different types of electrical circuits to carry out simple and complex tasks, heat, pressure and how gas particles around us behave in everyday situations.
  • Waves and radiation: This unit develops understanding of wave characteristics and behaviours, how we use the electromagnetic spectrum and light through refraction and reflections, nuclear radiation and nuclear reactions and how the world around us has been affected through use of nuclear reactions.


Higher Physics

Higher Physics is split into 3 units that build on Knowledge gained from S1-4:


  • Our Dynamic Universe: This unit looks further at vectors and scalars, velocity and acceleration, Newton’s laws, projectile motions, space travel and observations and cosmology as well as developing new ideas and problem solving skills through studying topics such as special relativity and gravitation.
  • Electricity: This builds on the ideas from s4 that show practical applications of physics in the multibillion pound electrical and semiconductor industry through looking at ac and dc electronics, semiconductors, capacitance and a more complex circuit problems.
  • Waves and particles: This unit dives into the news grabbing stories of modern day physics looking at what matter actually is in the standard model, looking at the difference between waves and particles, and observing how light can make particles behave strangely through the photoelectric effect as well as looking further at the effects of nuclear physics on society and the implications of Einstein’s famous E=mc2 equation and what it means for us.
  • Researching Physics Unit. Similar to National 5 Assignment. Pupils will study a topic that links to one of the units above. They will then research this topic, carry out practical experiments, finished by writing a report and log book on their findings.

Nationals in a Nutshell

Career pathways

Assessment Calendars

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