Environmental Science Nat 5

Course Outline – National 5 in 1 year in S5/6

The National 5 Environmental Science course aims to make pupils aware of the importance of the planet and how it relates to life and development.

Concerns about the environment feature strongly.

In common with the other sciences the course aims to develop the skills necessary to find solutions to problems. The essence of scientific enquiry is problem solving. Practical work has an essential place in the course, acting as a stimulus to interest and enjoyment as well as illustrating the course material.
The course provides a good basis for further study or for work.

The Course consists of 3 main units: 

    • Living Environment – this looks at how life relates to its surroundings.
    • Earth’s resources – this looks at the geology of the planet and the resources that we can extract from the earth and the surroundings.
    • Sustainability – this looks at how human life can exist sustainably.
Assignment (National 5)

In this unit pupils will choose an environmental topic to investigate and write up a research project based on fieldwork or an experiment. This will give them the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and the project will be marked by the SQA.


Pupils will receive homework on a regular basis, this might involve finishing off class work, revising for assessments or undertaking research into investigation work.

Assessment Approaches

To gain the award for National 5, you must sit a final SQA exam and send in your Assignment for the exam board to mark. You must also pass all the internal assessment for each of the three units. 

So to sum up, the National 5 course assessment will consist of an exam paper which will account for 80% of your final grade and an Assignment which will account for 20% of your final grade. The course assessment is graded A-D.

Entry Requirements

In order to study National 5 environmental science, students should have gained at least one National 4 pass in either Geography, Biology or Chemistry.

Additional Information

The teaching of this course will be split between three departments – biology, chemistry and geography.
Practical and thinking skills will be developed and assessed throughout the course.
Knowledge and understanding will be assessed using tests after every topic.
Regular homework will be given to reinforce learning.
Studying Environmental Science at this level could lead on to the study of Higher Environmental Science.

For further information please contact – Mr. J. McAuley, P.T. Geography