Welcome to the Biology Department

Courses offered:

National 4 Biology
National 5 Biology
Higher Human Biology
Advanced Higher Biology
National 5 Laboratory Science: Skills for Work

Description of each course:

BIOLOGY – Nat 4 & Nat 5

The Biology course aims to provide pupils with an understanding of themselves and the natural world in which they live.

The course is made up of the study of three topics:-
• Cell Biology
• Multicellular Organisms
• Life on Earth


An A or B level pass at National 5 Biology.

The CfE Higher Human Biology course allows pupils to develop a deeper understanding of the fundamental processes within the Human Body. This includes cellular processes, physiological mechanisms, communication between organisms and the biology of populations. The course takes into consideration new advances in medical research and sets it in engaging way to develop pupils’ skills and knowledge.

1. Human Cells
2. Physiology and Health
3. Neurobiology and Communication
4. Immunology and Public Health

BIOLOGY– CfE Advanced Higher

A pass in Higher Biology or Higher Human Biology.

The Advanced Higher Biology course allows pupils to develop a critical understanding of scientific issues and applications and their impact on the environment/society. Pupils develop and apply scientific inquiry and investigative skills, including planning and experimental design and applying analytical thinking skills, including the critical evaluation of experimental procedures in a biology context. Additionally, pupils will be given the opportunity to carry out an investigation that is designed to provide opportunities to further develop investigative skills. It also provides the opportunity for self-motivation and organisation in the development of a plan for an investigation and the collection and analysis of information obtained.

Compulsory Units
1. Cells and Proteins 8 SCQF Points
2. Organisms and Evolution 8 SCQF Points
3. Investigative Biology 8 SCQF Points


• To encourage pupils to explore the wide range of career opportunities science offers.
• To develop common practical laboratory skills used in the workplace.
• To develop health and safety awareness and skills necessary for working in a science laboratory in the workplace.
• To develop pupils’ investigation skills and scientific thinking.
• To provide pupils with some experience of working in industry and in a workplace laboratory.

A minimum of a National 4 level pass in biology, chemistry or physics

This course has 4 mandatory units:
1. Careers using laboratory science
Pupils will have the opportunity to visit local industries that rely on laboratory work and they will research local, national and global laboratory based industries.

2. Working in a Laboratory
Pupils will gain practical experience at basic laboratory skills such as handling chemicals, preparing solutions, working with microorganisms and radioactive materials. Pupils will learn to work in a safe laboratory environment.

3. Practical Skills
Pupils will learn and develop the skills most commonly used in laboratories. Pupils will learn to work with potentially hazardous materials.

4. Practical Investigation
Pupils will work with others to plan and produce an investigation into a scientific topic using the practical skills they have learnt. Pupils will learn to review and evaluate their work and practical skills.

This course aims to develop core employability skills needed for a pupil to pursue a career in science. There are a wide range of employability skills developed throughout this course, including:
• A core set of practical laboratory skills used commonly in laboratory based industries.
• A strong understanding of the importance of health and safety involved in working in a laboratory.
• The skills to review and to self and peer evaluate performance and practical skills.
• The skills to plan and carry out an investigation into a scientific topic.
• demonstrating knowledge and understanding by making statements, describing information, providing explanations
• planning experiments to illustrate a particular effect, applying safety measures
• carrying out straightforward experimental procedures, safely, recording general observations and collecting data
• applying information handling skills including selecting, presenting and processing information
• making generalisations based on evidence/information
• drawing valid conclusions and giving explanations supported by evidence
• suggesting improvements to experiments/investigations
• communicating findings/information


Staff Members

Miss S. McQuade
Miss L. Robinson
Dr. J. Quinlan
Mr W. Gavin
Mr J. McLean (Faculty Head)


Further information on each course can be accessed by clicking the relevant link below

SQA National 4 Biology
SQA National 5 Biology
SQA Higher Human Biology
SQA Advanced Higher Biology
SQA National 5 Laboratory Science: Skills for Work