The course consists of three Units whose contents are briefly described below:
DNA and the Genome – Structure and replication of DNA, genes and their expression, mutations, evolution and the genome.
Metabolism and Survival – Metabolic pathways, respiration, conformers and regulators, environmental and genetic control of metabolism.
Sustainabilityand Interdependence – Food supply, plant growth and productivity, plant and animal breeding, symbiosis, social behaviour, extinction and biodiversity.
Studying each Unit should allow pupils to develop their biological knowledge as well as their problem solving and practical skills.
At the end of each Unit, pupils sit a test which assesses their knowledge and understanding as well as their problem solving ability. Pupils must pass these tests in order to sit the final exam. Any pupil who fails a test will have the opportunity to take another test on the Unit, after appropriate revision.
In order to gain a course award in Biology, pupils must sit an exam in May. This exam consists of one paper worth 100 marks.
Questions in the final exam are based on the work covered in all three units. All pupils will sit a prelim exam in February as preparation for this final exam.
Pupils also have to complete an assignment in which they research a topic and then write a report on it. This is marked by the SQA and is worth 20 marks.
The final grade awarded is based on candidate performance in the exam and the assignment.
Pupils will be given regular homework, much of it based on Past Paper questions.
Fifth year pupils wishing to take this course should have obtained an A or B pass in National 5 Biology. Any pupil who has not got this qualification must discuss his or her reasons for attempting the course with Mr Forbes.
Sixth year pupils wishing to take this course should also have obtained an A or B pass in National 5 Biology. Pupils who have not studied Biology but have a Higher pass in a related Science subject, such as Chemistry, can also take this course. Any sixth year pupil who has doubts about his or her eligibility to do the course should discuss this with Mr Forbes.
Pupils who achieve Higher Biology may progress to Advanced Higher within the school.
A pass in Higher Biology can also lead to HNC, HND and degree level study in Biological Sciences and Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Dietetics, Radiography and Chiropody.
A pass in Higher Biology can also be used as an entry qualification to many general University and College courses.
For further information contact Mr L. Forbes, PT of Biology.