Psychology National 5

What is special about this course?

This course develops learners’ knowledge and understanding of psychological explanations for individual and social behaviour. Psychology provides learners with opportunities to find out some of the ways that thoughts and emotions can affect how we feel and behave. Psychological knowledge of individual and social behaviour can support learners in personal and professional relationships and enable them to understand some of the factors that influence behaviour.

Learning in psychology therefore offers a suitable context for finding out about factors that are important to being a confident individual and a successful learner.

There is personalisation and choice in the topics and approaches that learners can select to investigate and explain human behaviour. As learners develop research skills in psychology, they will learn about the ethical implications of research and what this means for them as responsible citizens.

Explanations for behaviour will promote thinking, reasoning and communication skills. Learners will also develop numeracy skills, which are important to research. These skills will enhance learners’ ability to engage in society.

Entry requirements

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

  • National 4 People and Society course or relevant component units
  • National 4 Biology course or relevant component units
  • Social studies or social sciences courses at SCQF level 4 or relevant component units

The main purposes of the course are to enable learners to develop an understanding of the human mind and behaviour and to enhance their interest in psychology. The course consists of the following 3 units:

Psychology: Research

This unit will introduce learners to the research process, research methods and ethics used in psychology. Learners will develop knowledge and understanding of factors to consider when planning and carrying out psychological research. They will also develop numerical skills and an understanding of psychological terminology.

Psychology: Individual Behaviour

This unit enables learners to use psychology to explain individual behaviour. Learners will investigate topics and learn how these topics can be explained using psychological approaches and theories. Learners will also consider the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches and theories investigated.

Psychology: Social Behaviour

This unit explains how interaction with others shapes social behaviour. Learners will investigate social psychological topics, and use relevant concepts and research evidence to explain how the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of individuals are developed through interaction with others and within the social environment. Learners will use psychological knowledge and understanding to explain examples of everyday behaviour.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time

You will receive weekly taught sessions and work as instructed by your tutor. There will also be directed self-study to be carried out in your own time.

How long will my course last?

This is normally a one-year course, with approximately 40 study hours per unit.

Where can I study my course?

Start date

Please contact your local centre for more information on start date.


For the latest information on fees please see our fees policy.

What can I do on completion of my course?

This course may provide progression to:

  • Higher Psychology
  • NC Social Sciences, or other qualifications in social studies, social sciences or related areas
  • further study, employment and/or training

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Psychology National 5

To enrol, or for further information on this course, please contact your local Argyll College Centre

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