Maths National 5

What is special about this course?

This course develops important mathematical concepts and techniques which are essential for students who need to gain the National 5 qualification or who wish to progress beyond National 5. The skills, knowledge and understanding developed in the course also support learning in technology, health and wellbeing, science and social studies.

Good reasons to study this course:

  • Gain SQA National 5 Mathematics award
  • Ideal preparation for Mathematics at higher levels
  • Gain access to courses that have a numeracy or mathematics entry requirement
  • Gain maths entry qualification for the PGDE Primary Teaching course

Entry requirements

Candidates require a pass at National 4 Maths (including Added Value Unit), Intermediate 1 (with Maths 3 unit) at A or B, or Standard Grade at level 3 or above in Maths.

Due to the high level of challenge presented by National courses, please note that the above represents minimum entry requirements. Our selection process will also take into account the breadth of subjects studied previously.

The N5 course aims to develop numerical, algebraic, geometrical, trigonometrical and statistical skills. In addition, candidates will develop mathematical reasoning skills and gain experience in making informed decisions. The course topics are arranged into three sections.

Section 1 (Expressions and Formulae)    
The general aim of this section is to develop skills linked to mathematical expressions and formulae. These include the manipulation of abstract terms, the simplification of expressions and the evaluation of formulae. 

Section 2 (Relationships)                
The general aim of this section is to develop skills linked to mathematical relationships. These include solving and manipulating equations, working with graphs and carrying out calculations on the lengths and angles of shapes. 

Section 3 (Applications)                
The general aim of this section is to develop skills linked to applications of mathematics. These include using trigonometry, geometry, number processes and statistics within real-life contexts.

How will I study my course?

  • Evening

Teacher led learning sessions and in-class practice sessions. Students will be required to undertake self-study to complete the course.

How long will my course last?

8 Months

This course runs from September to May

How will I be assessed?

    The course assessment is an SQA external exam made up of two papers sat at the end of the course. The date and time of this exam is set by SQA.

Where can I study my course?

    • Lerwick Campus

Start date

Shetland UHI, Lerwick - September.



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


Part-time students may be eligible to have their course fees waived.

For more information see the funding page. 

What can I do on completion of my course?

Academic: National 5 level maths is a common entry requirement for many college and university courses.

Employment/Career: These courses will provide proof of your maths skills to a prospective employer.

Former students have:  Progressed  on to study  other courses at Shetland UHI and at other institutions.

Is there more information available online?

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“I wouldn’t have achieved my results without the help of my tutor, who was very professional and patient.”

“Most students at first are more than a little apprehensive towards maths, but they build a new level of confidence as they become aware of how maths works.”

Bob Campbell, Lecturer

Apply for Maths National 5

I want to start in 2023/24
I want to start in 2024/25

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