Page last updated at 2:42 PM, 27/06/2007
If they wish, pupils can choose Modern Studies as a Standard Grade course for S3/S4. They will be in the department for three periods a week.
Over the two-year course, pupils study a variety of different topic areas. All are assessed with a test at the end of each unit, and of course all pupils must sit the final exam at the end of S4. Pupils will either sit the Credit and General papers, or the General and Foundation papers. The final exam contains two main styles of question - Knowledge and Understanding and Enquiry Skills. The former is answered using recalled knowledge, the latter usually using sources within the exam paper itself. Pupils will have lots of practice at these questions throughout their Standard Grade.
Syllabus Area 1: Living in a Democracy
This involves an examination of both the Scottish and British Parliaments. How do both Parliaments operate and what are their similarities and differences? What are the jobs of MPs and MSPs? How can ordinary people get involved? What electoral systems are used?
What Pressure Groups exist and what are their functions? How can people get involved in Pressure Groups? What kind of actions might Pressure Groups take?
What are Trade Unions? Why do people get involved in them? What kind of actions can Trade Unions take?
Syllabus Area 2: Changing Society
This unit looks at the physical, emotional and social needs of the elderly in society. How are their needs met by the Government, local authorities and voluntary groups? How useful is the state pension? What economic needs do the elderly have?
EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT
How is the structure of employment changing? What are the needs of the unemployed? What kind of assistance is available to the unemployed and how are they being helped back to work?
FAMILIES WITH DEPENDENT CHILDREN
What different kinds of families exist in the UK today? What different kinds of needs do different kinds of families have? How are these needs met by local and national government?
Syllabus Area 3: Ideologies
This unit studies social and political life in the USA, with a particular emphasis on ethnic minorities. Among the issues it examines are how the US constitution works, the powers of the President and Congress, US citizens' participation in politics and social and economic inequalities within the USA.
Syllabus Area 4: International Relations
THE POLITICS OF AID
This unit examines the concept of how need differs in countries across the world. Its main focus is studying the problems of selected countries in Africa, and how these needs are met. The politics of the aid given to Africa by Western nations, UN aid agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations and charities are all examined.
This unit examines why different nations work together in alliances for economic, political and military reasons. The three international alliances studied are NATO, the European Union and the United Nations.