AH Mechanics

Applied Mathematics Advanced Higher – Mechanics

The Advanced Higher in Applied Mathematics is a one year course which articulates with the Higher course studied in 5th Year. The course provides an introduction to the application of mathematics in the field of particle mechanics.  There are two units on mechanics and a third unit developing mathematical methods which is often used in Applied Mathematics. Students wishing to take this course should have achieved at least a grade B at Higher. No previous knowledge of mechanics is necessary, however, it would be advantageous to have studied mechanics in other subjects such as Higher Physics or Higher Engineering Science.The Advanced Higher Applied Mathematics Course is at SCQF level 7. SQA Link – http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/45303.html. If you are considering applying to The University of  Cambridge to read Mathematics it is essential to study Mathematics at Advanced Higher level, please click University of Cambridge to read their guidance notes for Scottish Applicants.

The KEY to achieving a pass in Advanced Higher Applied Mechanics is to regularly work on the past paper questions below, checking your answers as you go. Always ask for help if you are unsure. Being organised is also hugely beneficial – print out the past paper questions & solutions and put them neatly into an A4 folder – try the questions out, check your answers and also put your neatly written out solutions in the folder – this folder will be the passport to your success in Applied Mathematics Advanced Higher – Mechanics. The earlier you start this process the better – in other words, start now!! 

It is essential that you purchase a good quality scientific calculator and become familiar with how to use its functions several months before the exam – Please bring your calculator to class every day.

SQA Past Papers & Marking Instructions for Applied Mathematics Advanced Higher – Mechanics

Applied Mathematics Advanced Higher – Mechanics:  Unit 1

• Kinematics in a straight line
• Kinematics in three dimensions, including relative motion.
• Projectile motion
• Force and Newton’s laws of motion

Applied Mathematics Advanced Higher – Mechanics:  Unit 2

• Circular motion
• Simple harmonic motion
• Momentum and impulse
• Work, energy and power
• Rectilinear motion using differential equations

Advanced Higher Mathematics for Applied Mathematics Unit

• Algebraic operations
• Matrix algebra
• Differentiation
• Integration
• Differential Equations


Students sit a unit test after each of the three units. This is internally assessed and externally moderated by the SQA. These tests are at the level of basic competence. There will be a prelim examination which is designed to mirror the style and difficulty of the external assessment. The external assessment which will be taken in May consists of a three hour written paper. The paper consists of two sections. Section A examines the content of Mechanics units 1 and 2 and carries 68% of the available marks. Usually, 38% will be in the form of short free response questions, the remaining section of the paper will consist of three longer questions. Section B examines the Mathematics for the Applied Mathematics Unit and carries 34% of the overall marks. There are usually a mixture of short free response questions and one longer question.