Modern Studies

Modern Studies


What is Modern Studies?

Modern studies is a subject unique to the Scottish secondary school curriculum. The focus of Modern Studies is to develop learners' knowledge and understanding of contemporary political and social issues in local, Scottish, United Kingdom and international contexts.

Modern Studies is offered both at National Qualification level and also in the Broad General Education stage of Scottish education. Pupils in primary school and up to S3 in secondary school have the opportunity to study Modern Studies concepts through the 'People in Society, Economy and Business' area of the broader Social Studies Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes. In the Senior Phase, Modern Studies is offered as a discrete subject.

What is the value of Modern Studies?

Modern Studies helps you develop knowledge and understanding of the processes that determine political, social and economic life. These processes are studied locally, nationally and internationally.

Modern Studies helps you develop important skills. For example you will become better at critically evaluating information, analysing complex sources and report writing. In some instances, the skills involved in using information technology will also be developed.

Together, the knowledge you acquire and the skills you develop will allow you to become a more informed individual, able to participate more effectively in society in a more tolerant and responsible manner.


S1 - S3 Curriculum

S1 Topics

  • Representing the people / Living in a democracy
  • Research task - Causes of crime / International issues

S2 Topics

  • Terrorism
  • Social Inequality in the UK

S3 Topics

  • Democracy in Scotland
  • China
  • Pressure groups

S4 - S6 Curriculum

National Modern studies

  • Democracy in Scotland
  • Crime and Law
  • The USA

Higher Modern Studies

  • Democracy in Scotland and the UK
  • Social Issues in the UK
  • South Africa / Syria

To have a look at materials that will be covered at national and Higher level please click on the attached link.