The National 4 and 5 programme was carefully developed in order to meet the requirements of Curriculum for Excellence. Led by our expert tutors in our field sites, students will gain transferable knowledge and skills that will prepare them for the 80 question paper and 20 marks assignment.

Fieldwork can be completed in many of the physical environments set out by CfE: coastal landscapes, rivers and their valley, and can also be completed in a human environment. Students will also discuss ‘Global Issues’ such as climate change, of which our tutors are experts. At our Millport field centre students will improve their fieldwork skills in gathering, processing and analysing data.

Example Timetable

Day 1


Arrive 1.00 pm
  • Students greeted by FSC staff.
  • Welcome talk and Centre tour.
  • Pre-course meeting with FSC staff and teachers.
  • Allocation of wellies/waterproofs.

Key map work skills will be developed, including finding six figure grid references and researching location information using ordinance survey maps.



Evening session will involve orienteering around the centre grounds developing numeracy and literacy skills.

Day 2

Morning and Afternoon

Rivers Fieldwork

Usually this takes place on the mainland in Largs therefore it could be done on arrival or departure date to minimise transport costs. Fieldwork consist of an investigation into downstream changes, along with Ordnance Survey mapping and observation of river landforms (including rejuvenation).


Follow-up Session

This includes methodology, data presentation, data analysis, conclusions and evaluation of the investigation.

Day 3

Morning and Afternoon

Coasts Fieldwork

On the island of Cumbrae there is a variety of sea defences protecting Millport town and the surrounding coastline. A walk to the top of the relic
wave cut platform and sea cliff will provide the basis of a discussion into changing climates and future consequences. Students will complete a cost benefit analysis of Millport’s sea defences, looking into land use adjacent to each sea defence. This information will be presented on a base map.


Follow-up Session

This includes methodology, data presentation, data analysis, conclusions and evaluation of the investigation.

Day 4

Morning and Afternoon

Tourism Fieldwork

An Investigation into the development and present day characteristics of the Isle of Cumbrae and its tourist town: Millport. In small groups, students will spend a short time researching different characteristics of the island of Millport before presenting their research to the rest of the group in the field. Skills used will include land use mapping, pedestrian and traffic counts, bipolar impact survey and questionnaires. Data presentation techniques such as choropleth maps, proportional symbols and bar charts will be used.


Presentation Session

Students will present their research to the group in mini-presentations designed to develop students thinking skills.

Day 5



A half day focuses on one day of fieldwork and includes an in depth data presentation and analysis, with the option of statistics. Any final parts of methodology can be completed as well as a thorough evaluation of the investigation.

Depart at midday

Final farewell from FSC staff.

Please note: to ensure safe and quality learning experiences for students, the timetable may alter depending on weather conditions and local factors at centres.

Added value of this course

Develop skills

  • Communication | Resilience | Independent thinking | Leadership
  • Numeracy | Literacy | Investigative skills | Observation

Enhance Knowledge

  • Ask questions.
  • Apply knowledge in the real world and make links.
  • Make sense of new places and understand our place and role within this.


  • Have fun | Make friendships | Connect with nature

Why Choose Field Studies Council?

  • Expert tuition by fully trained staff

  • Stunning locations across the UK

  • Outstanding curriculum knowledge

  • Rigorous health and safety procedures

  • Support before and after your visit

  • Free places for visiting staff