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The Waid Academy

National 5 Laboratory Science



National 5 Skills for Work: Laboratory Science is an introductory qualification. The course provides a broad experiential introduction to laboratory science. Learners will explore a variety of industries and services, and career opportunities, in science laboratories locally, nationally, and globally.

They will develop the basic practical skills and knowledge needed for working in a laboratory: measuring, weighing and preparing compounds and solutions; and health and safety requirements. Practical skills in microbiology, measuring radioactivity, chemical handling and laboratory instrumentation will be developed.

Learners will work with others to produce a plan to undertake a practical investigation to test scientific hypotheses. This will also involve reporting of the results, conclusions and evaluations of the investigation.

Throughout all units the course emphasises the employability skills and attitudes valued by employers which will help to prepare learners for the workplace. Learners will review their own employability skills, and will seek feedback from others on their strengths and weaknesses.

At SCQF level 5, learners work alone or with others on straightforward tasks with support. 


Units - Title and Brief Description

Careers Using Laboratory Science (National 5)

This unit introduces learners to the wide range of industries and services, which use scientific knowledge and laboratory skills. Learners will learn about the variety of ways in which science and laboratory skills are used in different industries and services and about the job roles, which use these skills. Learners will investigate a range of career opportunities within industries and services, which use laboratory science and investigate the skills, qualifications and experience required for a job role of personal interest within the field of laboratory science. Learners will prepare for employment, further education or training through producing their own Curriculum Vitae for a specific job role in a laboratory science setting.

Working in a Laboratory (National 5)

This unit provides learners with the opportunity to gain practical experience in measuring and weighing quantities, basic laboratory skills such as handling chemicals, preparing solutions, and in calculating and presenting results of practical work. Safety and security procedures are addressed to enable learners to maintain health and safety while working in a laboratory environment and a risk assessment is carried out. Opportunities arise for the development of numeracy and communication skills when recording and reporting practical work.

Practical Skills (National 5)

This unit provides learners with the opportunity to learn and develop the skills most commonly used in laboratories. The health and safety issues of working in a laboratory are integral to the unit. Learners will learn how to work safely with potentially hazardous materials such as microorganisms and will measure radioactivity, as well as developing competence in the use of various types of instrumentation found in laboratories. Skills in performing a titration are also developed.

Progression:  Successful completion of this course can lead to National 5 in another science subject or NC group awards in applied sciences


Internal Assessment is based on:

A portfolio of evidence, gathered in open-book conditions.  This will include self-evaluation of skills throughout the course and practical assessments assessed by teachers.

Candidate will also have to submit a practical assignment

There is no external exam for this course