English National 5

What is special about this course?

This qualification is the ideal starting point for those who have not achieved an English qualification at school, and who wish to prepare for further study. You will look at a range of fiction, including a specified Scottish writer, and non-fiction texts in order to understand and appreciate the techniques writers use to create meaning and impact in their writing.

Entry requirements

Learners would normally be expected to have attained the skills and knowledge required by the following or by equivalent experience:

  • National 4 English - C724 74
  • English Standard Grade – 0860 01 (General level)
  • English Intermediate 1 – C270 10

Candidates who have not achieved an appropriate English course may be required to take an entrance test. You should apply for this course and sit the entrance exam - if necessary – as soon as possible. Early application is advisable as places will be limited. Entry will be at the discretion of the college.

This course offers you the opportunity to develop and extend a wide range of skills, including communication, independent learning, critical literacy, personal, interpersonal and team working, and creative thinking. In particular, the course will develop your ability to:

  • listen and talk, read and write, as appropriate to purpose, audience and context
  • understand, analyse and evaluate texts, including Scottish texts, as appropriate to purpose and audience in the contexts of literature, language and media
  • create and produce texts, as appropriate to purpose, audience and context
  • apply knowledge and understanding of language

You will learn how to write effective fiction and non-fiction, producing two pieces of writing for external assessment. Studied text may include prose, poetry, drama and journalism.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time
  • Evening

This course is delivered as a taught class by blended learning, including the use of video conferencing from your local learning centre, and the virtual learning environment (VLE), which is called Brightspace .

Materials will be provided through Brightspace. You will work through the learning materials and complete tasks as requested by your lecturer, including homework. During induction students will learn how to use the VLE, which is an integral part of the course delivery.

The weekly evening classes, which you will attend from your local learning centre, are mandatory. During the classes you will take part in discussions as well as individual and group activities, which will develop your understanding of the topics.

Further to the weekly classes, you will be expected to participate in a one-hour tutorial once a week, by phone or online. This can be done from your local learning centre or from home if you have the required technology and internet connection. The time of the tutorials will be agreed between lecturer and students at the start of the course, although it is likely to be on Monday evenings..

There is also an element of self-study which will be required each week; and students should allow at least 2 hours per week for this.

To gain the award of the course, students must achieve all the component units, complete a written folio and the external exam.

How long will my course last?

160 Hours

Completion of the course will require approximately 160 hours of study, through a combination of taught classes, tutorials and self-study.

Where can I study my course?

    • Arran Learning Centre
    • Campbeltown Hazelburn Learning Centre
    • Dunoon Learning Centre
    • Helensburgh Learning Centre
    • Islay Learning Centre
    • Lochgilphead Learning Centre
    • Oban Learning Centre
    • Rothesay Learning Centre

Start date

The course will start on Monday 28th August 2023.

Classes will take place on Monday evenings from 6pm - 8pm in your local learning centre. There will be an online weekly 1 hour tutorial which you should also attend.


The fee for this course is £352 which can be paid in installments.

If you are on a low income or in receipt of certain benefits may receive a fee waiver. Please refer to page 2 of our Fees and Funding Guide to see if you are eligible.  If you think this may apply to you, please contact us and we can advise you.

If you do not qualify for a fee waiver, you may be able to apply for an Individual Training Account (ITA) to cover up to £200 the cost of this course.

This course is not available to students who require a Tier 4 Home Office visa to study in Scotland (international or EU).


What can I do on completion of my course?

English National 5 can be used for progression to English Higher, or as a starting point for a range of full-time courses at SCQF level 5 and 6.

Is there more information available online?

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We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Argyll. UHI Argyll 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.