In numbers: Scotland’s most popular Highers

Picking the right Higher can be a stressful choice Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Picking the right Higher can be a stressful choice Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Share this article
0
Have your say

PICKING a Higher can be a tricky business. The top ten are the most popular for many reasons.

While the social studies are usually viewed as “soft” subjects, many of them are chosen for their broad connection to many university course.

The top 15 Highers studied in 2014-2015 Picture: Johnston Press

The top 15 Highers studied in 2014-2015 Picture: Johnston Press

Top ten Highers in schools (Number of students studying 2014-15)

1. English (34,042)

2. Maths (20,615)

3. History (11,046)

4. Biology (9,535)

5. Modern Studies (9,402)

6. Physical Education (9,102)

7. Physics (8,894)

8. Business Management (8,404)

9. Geography (8,192)

10. Art and Design (6,226)

Highers are often studied with some sort of further education (FE) in mind. For that reason, it’s very clear as to why most of these subjects make the top ten list.

It’s no surprise that English and Maths top the table. They are the most required Highers for further study after high school, which may also account for their rising pass rates.

History, Modern Studies and Geography make the list as they are highly regarded.

The University of Strathclyde Schools & Universities liaison services remarked: “Any subject which develops your skills in essay writing and critical thinking are not required for entry to any course in the University, but they are very favourably regarded by the Faculties of Law, Arts & Social Sciences and the Business School. They recommend that you gain a Higher in at least one essay based subject in addition to English.”

Physics has likely made the list because there are several FE qualifications who name it as a required subject, and many more who highly recommend it. These include, but are not limited to: Aeronautical Engineering; Architectural Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Electronic & Electrical Engineering; Forensic Biology; Mechanical Engineering; Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering; Physics; Product Design Engineering, Prosthetics & Orthotics. Higher Physics or Higher Biology is also required by all Chemistry courses.