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Spanglefish Gold Status Expired 20/07/2015.

Nat 4

Science is vital to everyday life, and allows us to understand and shape the world in which we live and influence its future. Scientists play a key role in meeting society’s needs in areas such as medicine, energy, industry, material development, the environment and sustainability. As the importance and application of science continues to grow and develop, more trained scientists will be required. It is also important that everyone has an informed view of science.


Course Content

From the sources of the energy we use to the exploration of space, advances in Physics mean that our view of what is possible is continually progressing. You will have the opportunity to design and carry out experiments and investigations to help you understand the role of Physics in scientific issues and in our lives.

The National 4 course is practical and experiential, and develops scientific understanding of issues relating to physics. It aims to generate interest and enthusiasm in physics, and to enable you to develop confidence in recognising and communicating ideas on scientific phenomena.

The course has three compulsory units, plus an added value unit that assesses your practical skills.


Electricity and Energy

In this unit you will:

  • explore the applications of electricity and energy, and the effects of these applications on society and the environment
  • learn about the key areas of generation of electricity, electrical power, electromagnetism, practical electrical and electronic circuits, gas laws and the kinetic model.

Waves and Radiation

In this unit you will:

  • explore the applications of waves and radiation and the implications for society and the environment
  • investigate the key areas of wave characteristics, sound, electromagnetic spectrum and nuclear radiation.


Dynamics and Space

In this unit you will:

  • consider the applications of dynamics and space and the implications on society and the environment
  • investigate the key areas of speed and acceleration, relationships between forces, motion and energy, satellites and cosmology.


Added Value Unit

In this unit you will:

  • carry out an investigation using the skills and knowledge you developed in the other three units
  • investigate a topical issue in physics from a selection
  • produce a written summary of the research and development ideas that inspired your work.



There is no external assessment for the National 4 course. Your work will be assessed by your teacher on an ongoing basis throughout the course. Items of work might include:

  • practical work - such as practical experiments
  • written work - research assignments and reports
  • projects
  • class-based exams.

You must pass all the units including the practical unit to gain the course qualification.



Progression from this course is National 5 Physics.

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