Psychology National 5

What is special about this course?

The course is suitable for anyone with an interest in developing knowledge and understanding of human behaviour, either to pursue study and career options related to psychology or to broaden your learning experience.

You may have little or no prior experience of studying psychology, but an interest in human behaviour and life experience provides a good foundation to progress to this qualification.

The National 5 Psychology course will help yu gain an insight into individual and social behaviour. Studying psychology enables you to find out some of the ways that thoughts and the environment can affect how we feel and behave.

The National 5 Psychology course is a recommended first step into the subject of Psychology prior to studying Higher Psychology.  This route will allow for a bettter understanding of each area of study as well as a good foundation in the subject and an increased level of confidence.


Entry requirements

You will have achieved a National 4 Pass in English or equivalent qualification prior to starting this course.

Psychology covers many different areas, three of which are covered within this course; individual behaviour, social behaviour and research.

The areas of study are:

Individual Behaviour – This area looks at the behaviour of one person in isolation. If you have ever wondered about the reasons for the need to sleep and why dreams happen; then you will find this out in the Sleep and Dreams topic. You will be asked to keep a sleep journal and dream diary.  The second topic is Personality where we look at how genes and the environment can impact on your own personality. You will look at different personality types and take part in a personality questionnaire.

Social Behaviour – This area looks at the behaviour of people in groups and their interactions. If you have ever changed your behaviour just to fit in and be liked then you will be interest in the first topic of Conformity. Within this topic we look at how things such as Culture or levels of self-esteem can impact on whether we conform or not. The second topic is non-verbal communication (NVC), here we look at how genetics and the environment can shape our NVC. We look at universal NVC such as smiling as well as different meanings culturally in such things as gestures.

Research – This area introduces you to the research process which is of great importance within psychology. You will learn about the different research methods, ethics and how participants are selected to take part in research. You will then plan and write up your own research plan.

How will I study my course?

  • 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. This will depend on social distancing limitations.

How long will my course last?

34 Weeks

Where can I study my course?

    • Auchtertyre
    • Broadford
    • Fort William
    • Gairloch
    • Kilchoan
    • Kinlochleven
    • Mallaig
    • 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 may like to go on to study our Higher Psychology course or to consider gaining other qualifications in social studies, social sciences or related areas or to employment or further training. 

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Psychology 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.