Advanced Higher Biology

Advanced Higher Biology
Entry Qualifications:
Students would normally be expected to have attained an award in Higher Biology or Higher Human Biology.
Course content:
There are two compulsory units:
Unit 1 Cell and Molecular Biology
The structure, function and growth of prokaryotic cells (bacteria) and eukaryotic cells (typical plant and animal cells). The structure and function of cell components (cell division, differentiation, biochemistry of cell components. Molecular interactions in cellular events (enzyme activity, cell signalling). Applications of DNA technology (genetic markers, DNA sequencing, human therapeutics, forensic applications, transgenic plants).
Unit 2 Environmental Biology.
Circulation in Ecosystems (energy fixation and flow, circulation of nutrients) Interaction in Ecosystems (relationships between living things including symbiosis, parasitism, mutualism etc, the consequences of interaction between species and with the environment) Human impact on the environment (pollution, greenhouse gases, intensive food production)
One optional unit chosen from:
Unit 3 Animal Behaviour.
Measuring behaviour (observation, measurement, anthropomorphisms, causes of behaviour) Development of behaviour (innate and learned behaviour, parental care, imprinting, evolution of behaviour) Behavioural interactions (feeding, social and sexual behaviour)
Unit 3 Physiology, Health and Exercise. (Sports Science)
Exercise and the cardiovascular system (pathology of cardiovascular disease, factors effect of exercise, exercise testing) Exercise and metabolism (energy balance and dietary recommendations, body composition and weight control, osteoporosis, and diabetes)

A written report on an investigation of the student’s choice is compulsory.
Students are taught biological concepts and skills in class and use a variety of practical techniques in the laboratory and during fieldwork. Computer simulations are used for data capture and analysis. Students also attend practical sessions at the Adam Smith College in Kirkcaldy. There is access to the Scholar online Advanced Higher Biology course for use both in school and at home as well as the VLE (
Students are expected to complete assignments at home (questions and essays) and to read widely around the course and to access internet resources including Scholar in their study time at home or in school. Preparation of the investigation report also requires individual effort and initiative.
Students are required to pass three end of unit assessments during the session, complete a prelim examination during the spring term and submit their investigation report for external moderation by SQA assessors in April. An overall Advanced Higher award comprises three unit passes, an investigation report an assessed practical and satisfactory completion of a national examination.
Further education (HNC, HND or degree) in a Biological or scientific subject. As an entry qualification for a wide range of careers and courses both scientific and general.