This course aims to provide successful performance in the SQA Higher Maths exam.

Mathematics is very important when seeking employment or when applying to further or higher education. Candidates who complete a Higher Mathematics course successfully are expected to have a competence and a confidence in applying mathematical techniques, manipulating symbolic expressions and communicating with mathematical correctness in the solution of problems.

Please note: Higher Maths is a fast-paced and very challenging course, and should only be undertaken by applicants who already have excellent knowledge and understanding of mathematics at National 5 level.

Please see below the exam paper from 2019 which provides useful insight into the breadth and challenge of the course.

  • One Year (August-June)
  • Part-time evenings – six hours per week (three hours class time plus minimum three hours self-study)
  • Tuesdays 6-9pm at Dunfermline Campus
  • Distance Learning – eight hours per week self-study with tutor support (August-June)
  • Straight lines
  • Functions
  • Differentiation
  • Recurrence relationships
  • Polynomials
  • Integration
  • Trigonometry
  • Wave equation
  • Vectors
  • Logarithms
  • Exponentials
  • The final exam usually takes place in May and draws on questions taken from the entire curriculum of the course
  • Paper One is non-calculator and lasts for 1 hour and 30 mins
  • Paper Two allows the use of a calculator and lasts for 1 hour and 45 mins
  • You can only apply for this course if you are not planning to undertake Higher Maths at another SQA centre (e.g. at school) and possess one of the following:
  • National 5 Maths (C747 75 or C847 75) at Grade A or B
  • Higher: Maths (C747 76 or C847 76) at Grade D or above
  • These qualifications must have been achieved at the first time of sitting
  • Entry to the course may also be subject to successful completion of a diagnostic test
  • Due to the high level of challenge presented by National Courses, and the significant demand for this course, please note that the above represents minimum entry requirements
  • Additional Essential Skills required for Higher Maths are factorising, fractions, algebraic fractions, powers and indices, surds, Trigonometry. You are expected to have a competence in these skills or you will not be able to succeed in the course. Revision can be found in Heinemann Higher Maths book: Essential Skills or on the following web sites or BBC Bitesize Nat 5 Maths. This practice should be completed before the course commences in September
  • Our selection processes will also take into account the breadth of subjects studied previously
  • There is an external SQA examination at the end of the course, which determines whether you have passed, and the grade achieved
  • Please note that all learners need to achieve a satisfactory mark in the prelim in order to be presented for the SQA exam
  • Highers are often regarded as the “gold standard” of Scotland’s exam system, and a pass in Higher Maths is highly valued by employers and can open up many opportunities for you
  • Higher Maths is often an essential prerequisite for entry to university in the areas of science, engineering, technology, computing, architecture, finance and many more
  • Cost: approx. £360
  • You may be able to apply for Individual Training Account (ITA) funding up to £200. However, eligibility criteria apply so please contact the college directly if you wish to be considered for ITA funding
  • Please see the Skills Development Scotland (SDS) website for more information

General stationery including:

  • Scientific calculator
  • Hienemann Higher Maths (ISBN-13: 978-0435516222)
  • Notepads
  • You may be required to take part in an informal conversation as part of the application process. This group/individual conversation may be an information session, a portfolio discussion, or a skills based exercise
  • Proof of qualifications must be brought to this