The National courses aim to encourage pupils to develop a range of transferrable skills such as: investigation, research, questioning and analysis. The courses enable learners to investigate and explain religious, moral and philosophical questions and responses, make comparisons, and develop the ability to express detailed and reasoned views. Our courses challenge pupils to think about their own views, as well as the views of others in society.

The course begins with a SKILLS unit based on a variety of topics within the subject. This will help our students to develop the fundamental skills of our National courses such as: research, presentation, analysis, sources and different viewpoints...to name but a few.

Course Outline

      • World Religion- Hinduism
        • Brahman
        • Beliefs about Isvara
        • The Nature of Human Beings
        • Samsara and Moksha
        • Living according to the Dharma and Margas
        • Individual and Community Worship  
      • Morality & Belief- Morality and Medicine
        • Religious Authority and Utilitarianism
        • Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia and Palliative Care
        • The Treatment of Embryos e.g. Embryonic Stem Cell Research, IVF, PGD and Saviour Siblings  
      • Religious & Philosophical Questions- Evil and Suffering
        • Types of evil and suffering
        • Explanations of evil and suffering e.g. free will, natural causes, role of God
        • Problems for beliefs about God e.g. nature of God, challenge to the nature and existence of God.  
      • Added Value Unit and Assignment - Personal Research
      • One exam, 2 hours 20 minutes, 80 marks
      • N5- Assignment, 1 hour, marked externally


National 4 has no external exam. Pupils will, however, have to pass all National 4 Unit Assessments as well as the ‘Added Value’ unit to gain an award. Pupils will receive a pass or fail for the year.

Key Skills:

Analysis, evaluation, using sources, extended writing, critical thinking, creativity, taking notes, research, planning, questioning, presentation, understanding different viewpoints and more.

Common Career/Study Paths:

Social Subjects (e.g. Sociology, Psychology, Social Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Criminology), Emergency Services (e.g. Medicine, Police & Prison Services, Fire Service), Social Work, Education, Journalism and the Media, Law etc.