Higher Politics is a rewarding and highly regarded SQA Higher, ideal for those considering a university course in Social Sciences or Law.

Modernityscotland is an approved SQA provider of Higher Politics.

The Higher Politics course has three Sections.

  • Political Theory
  • Social Systems
  • Political Parties and Elections

The Higher Politics course places a high emphasis and priority on skills.

These are skills for Higher Politics and also skills for life long learning and work.

The Higher Politics course is is therefore assessed in two components.


Component 1 CFE Higher Politics Assignment

The Higher Politics Assignment is marked out of 30 marks.

In the Higher Politics Assignment the learner chooses a political issue in which there is some debate.

The learner then researches the issue and 'writes up' during the 'production of evidence stage' a report on his/her findings within the school/college under supervised conditions.

The 'production of evidence' stage will last up to 90 minutes.

As well as knowledge of the issue, the learner should apply Politics skills of researching, analysing, evaluating and synthesising information from a wide range of political sources.

Learners can use one single sided sheet of A4 paper (containing no more than 250 words) known as 'Research Evidence' to assist them in writing the report.

While the research phase can take place at any time of the academic year, the 'write up' is a school/college decision normally taken once the teacher is convinced that learners have completed their research and are ready.

The completed assignment must be completed and posted to SQA by the presenting school/college by a date set by SQA, normally around Easter time.

Component 2 CFE Higher Politics Question Paper

The Higher Politics Question Paper will be sat on April 28 2019.

It is graded A, B, C and D by SQA.

Know Your Way Around the Question Paper

The format of the paper has changed and it is absolutely critical that you are familiar with the new arrangements.

SQA hasn't published a specimen paper yet and there are, obviously, no past papers to go on.

Question Paper 1, which lasts 1 hour 45 minutes, has three Sections.

  • Section 1 Political Theory
  • Section 2 Political Systems
  • Section 3 Political Parties and Elections

Within each Section there are choices.

You should know which one you will answers questions on.

Section 1 Political Theory

Power, Authority and Legitimacy 


Key Political Ideologies

Section 2 Political Systems

Constitutional Arrangements

The Legislative Branch

The Executive Branch

Section 3 Political Parties and Elections

The dominant ideas within or between political parties

The impact of political campaign management strategies

Theories of voting behaviour

This paper is worth 52 marks.

Question Paper 2, which lasts 1 hour 15 minutes, tests skills of comparing, interpreting, evaluating and synthesising evidence.

There are two questions:

Question 1: comparing information about political theories, systems and parties

Question 2: interpreting, evaluating and synthesising a wide range of electoral data 

One question is worth 8 marks and consists of two sources, and one question is worth 20 marks and consists of up to seven sources.

Sources may be written, numerical, graphical or pictorial.

This paper is worth 28 marks.