Maths National 5

What is special about this course?

Learning mathematics will help you to develop logical reasoning, analysis, problem-solving skills, creativity, and the ability to think in abstract ways.

It uses a universal language of numbers and symbols, which allows us to communicate ideas in a concise and unambiguous way.

The skills, knowledge and understanding you will gain will support learning in technology, health and wellbeing, science, and social studies.


Entry requirements

  • Ideally you will have achieved Mathematics at Nat 4 /Intermediate 1 or equivalent
  • Mature students are very welcome
  • All applicants will be invited for interview


Mathematics at National 5 builds on the skills already achieved at lower levels.

You will cover the following:

Numeracy including: simplification, working with positive and negative indices, percentages, fractions etc

Algebra including: factorising, quadratic equations, equations of the straight line, simultaneous equations, formulae etc

Geometry including: Pythagoras’ theorem, properties of shapes, circle geometry, angles, vectors etc

Trigonometry including: graphs, sine, cosine and tangent calculations, bearings etc

Statistics including: understanding and working with data etc

Reasoning including: interpretation, strategy and problem solving



Internet connection and a suitable device with headphones, microphone and camera (minimum spec) is required. Please email us if you have any concerns about connectivity or equipment.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time
  • Evening

Each week will comprise of scheduled, connected learning time and flexible learning time. You need to commit to both, but you can choose when to complete flexible learning to fit around work, caring and personal commitments.  Some flexible learning must be done on a weekly basis.  

Connected learning is when you learn together with lecturers, students and others. Connected learning happens at a scheduled time in a practical workshop, an online-classroom, a studio, a specialist classroom, the workplace or in the outdoors.

Flexible learning covers lecturer directed learning and self-directed learning

Lecturer-directed learning is weekly learning activity, for example:

  • posting your idea in a discussion forum,
  • completing a quiz, 
  • practising a task, activity or idea
  • watching a video or reading,
  • discussing and working on a solution with another student,
  • researching and gathering information,
  • completing an assignment or project-based task. 

Self-directed learning is your decision about further study and focus.  We encourage you to take ownership of your learning and areas of interest. You can ask us to help you to determine areas for further development.

Your connected learning will take place in an online-classroom.  This will include a combination of video conferencing, interactive chat and sharing of presentation slides and other visuals. Online-classrooms provide you with real time interaction, contact and discussion with your lecturer and fellow students. We have ten college centres and there may be an option to study some of the time from your local centre. 

How long will my course last?

32 Weeks

The course will run for 32 weeks with a 2.5 hours tuition session each week which you are required to attend. You will need to be motivated and prepared to study at home or book a space at one of our college learning centres to complete the additional course work.

Mondays, 5-9pm

How will I be assessed?

    You will be assessed through ongoing course work and a final SQA exam in April/May comprising 2 papers (one with calculator and one without).

Where can I study my course?

    • Auchtertyre
    • Broadford
    • Fort William
    • Gairloch
    • Kilchoan
    • Kinlochleven
    • Mallaig
    • Portree
    • Strontian
    • Ullapool

Start date





A Fee Waiver or funding of up to £200 could be available to help with payment of course fees, depending on your personal circumstances.

This support will be available for people who are 16 or over, living in Scotland and either in low paid work or actively seeking work. To be eligible, you must have income of £22,000 a year or less, or be on certain benefits.

You will also not be undertaking any secondary, further or higher education, SDS funded training or participating on the Community Jobs Scotland programme.

Please contact your local college centre for more information about eligibility, or call us on 01397 874000.

What can I do on completion of my course?

You could consider continuing with Higher Mathematics or use this qualification as an essential route into many areas of further study including technical, science and social science subjects, nursing and teaching.

Is there more information available online?

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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Apply for Maths National 5

I want to start in 2022/23

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI West Highland. UHI West Highland operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.