Physics National 5

What is special about this course?

This course is designed for students entering the maritime and engineering sectors by the Modern Apprenticeship route and to give access to further stem subjects at National 5 and Higher level.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements.

There are no internal units for this course.

You will gain an understanding of physics and develop this through a variety of approaches, including practical activities, investigations and problem solving. You will research topics, apply scientific skills and communicate information related to your findings, which develops skills of scientific literacy.

The course content includes the following areas of physics:

  • Dynamics - vectors and scalars; velocity–time graphs; acceleration; Newton’s laws; energy; projectile motion.
  • Space - space exploration; cosmology.
  • Electricity - electrical charge carriers; potential difference (voltage); Ohm’s law; practical electrical and electronic circuits; electrical power.
  • Properties of matter - specific heat capacity; specific latent heat; gas laws and the kinetic model.
  • Waves - wave parameters and behaviours; electromagnetic spectrum; refraction of light.
  • Radiation - nuclear radiation



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
  • Online

Timetabled learning will take place in an online classroom where you connect and interact with your lecturer and classmates, at set times, using video, voice and text chat.  You will also complete regular and flexible personal study which most students choose to do from home. 

How long will my course last?

34 Weeks

From September to June.

Thursday evenings 5pm-9pm.

How will I be assessed?

    Assessment for this course will be carried out in the following way:

    • Ongoing informal assessment using scholar and notes of test marks etc.
    • Two internal assessments based on the units covered
    • One prelim exam
    • A final SQA external exam in April /May

    Attendance at a college centre is required for assignment and final external exam.

Where can I study my course?

Start date

September 2023




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?

Path 1: Progress on to Higher Physics.

Path 2: Enter a college engineering/construction or similar STEM course.

Is there more information available online?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

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

Apply for Physics National 5

We are no longer accepting applications for 2022/23

I want to start in 2023/24

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.