AH Project

This Guide contains information for AH Project Choices offered At Wallace High School, as well as Assessment Criteria and Progress Checklists.

Project Brief

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) requires that all Advanced Higher (AH) physics pupils conduct a practical Physics Investigation. The investigation aims to develop practical and experimental skills through a practical project plus provide opportunity for both self-motivation and organisation skills.

The Project consists of a written report of approximately 4500 words, covering any aspect relating to the Advanced Higher Physics course. The Project usually will consist of approximately three separate experimental procedures all relating to the same aspect of Physics. Within each project there will be the option for working independently both within the Science Department and on a Visit day to either Strathclyde or Heriot-Watt Universities.

As well as developing investigative skills, students are expected to learn how to organize their experimental study and how to maintain a good laboratory record. This will be invaluable for those continuing to study science or engineering to Degree Level.

Accurate record keeping and logical analysis are the basis for effective scientific study. Data from the practical investigation is to be documented in a daybook: these will include not only the experimental details, but also the results, calculations, and conclusions. Readings from equipment should be tabulated before fully labelled graphs are produced from them. Experimental uncertainties must also be noted at the same time. Measurements that do not include tolerances and results that do not include uncertainties, as indications of their reliability, are not acceptable in science or engineering. Readings and results that do not include units are also unacceptable.

Remember that production of any final report on any extended investigation will rely on clear record keeping.

The Basic layout of a Lab Book entry should be as follows:-

  • Date and Title of Experiment

  • Aim of Experiment

  • Key Theory required

  • Brief Methodology

  • Results + Comments of changes to procedures required

  • Data Analysis



List of Recommended Project Topics

It is recommended that candidates select One Project Area from the following list:-


Section 1 - Rotational Motion and Astrophysics

* - Practicals to be completed at University or Stirling High School.

Section 2 - Quanta and Waves

Note - The above list covers experiments that are currently available either within Wallace High School or during a University Visit. If an experiment is not listed above, please discuss with your Teacher to determine if it is feasible.

Background Research

You may be able to use books, scientific journals, videos, TV programmes etc, to access the information you need. However, as the internet can provide information within hours of the completion of an experiment or report, websites offer some of the most up-to-date information on new areas of science. The internet also offers free access to a far greater volume of information than is likely to be found in school.

Further Guidance on completing Research effectively can be found by using the following link ( http://bit.ly/2ozMsk9 )

Through the Internet, a wide range of useful resources can be found, including School and University Websites, Online Textbooks or YouTube videos. However, due to the nature of Online Content, all research MUST be evaluated for accuracy or bias. Below is a useful checklist to be used whenever completing Online Research:-

  • Source - Is the Source reliable ( Government / University / News Corp etc. ) ?

  • Currency - Is the Source Up to Date ?

  • Depth - Is the Source explaining information to the correct complexity ?

  • Purpose - Is the Source aimed at Educating, or another reason ?

  • Bias - Is the Source giving a clear, unbiased view ?

  • Accuracy - Does the Source clearly show references ?

If the answer to any of this list is “no”, the Data Source should be considered carefully.

Plagiarism and Referencing

Plagiarism is defined as the submission or presentation of work, in any form, which is not one's own, without acknowledgement of the sources. Work may be considered to be plagiarised if it is; a direct quotation, a close paraphrase, direct copying or transcription, or an unacknowledged summary of a Source.

In order to prevent Plagiarism, all Sources must be referenced clearly, in a form that is easily verified. For further Guidance on referencing can be found by using the following link ( https://www.qub.ac.uk/cite2write/harvard3l.html )

SQA Marking Instructions

The SQA Guidelines for the completion of the Advanced Higher Project can be found on the SQA Website ( http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/48460.html ) as part of the General Assessment Guidance Section.

The AH Project has a Total Mark of 30, which makes up approximately 25 % of your Final Grade.

The 30 Marks are awarded as follows:-

Note - For more detail on each of the above Marks, please see the SQA Understanding Standards Guidance section of the SQA website ( Understanding Standards Link ).

AH Project Checklist

All Dates given below apply for the 2018-19 session