Higher Human Biology

The study of CFE Higher Human Biology aims to develop learners’ interest and enthusiasm for Human Biology, and covers a variety of contexts relevant to Human Biology’s central position within our society. An experimental and investigative approach is used to develop knowledge and understanding of Human Biology. The skills of scientific inquiry and investigation are developed throughout the Course, by investigating the applications of Human Biology.

The Course has four mandatory Units, as listed below, which are designed to provide progression to the corresponding Units at Advanced Higher Biology.

Human Biology: Human Cells (Higher)
In this Unit, learners will develop knowledge and understanding through studying stem cells, differentiation in somatic and germline cells, and the research and therapeutic value of stem cells in drug discovery. The Unit covers the key areas of division and differentiation in human cells, structure and function of DNA, gene expression and the genome. Analytical thinking and problem solving skills will be developed in context, through investigation of DNA, the expression of the genotype, and protein production, which allows study of mutations and genetic disorders. DNA technology is covered, including sequencing and medical and forensic applications. In addition, the Unit covers metabolic pathways and their control, through enzymes, with emphasis on cellular respiration and the role of ATP.

Human Biology: Physiology and Health (Higher)
In this Unit, learners will develop knowledge and understanding by focusing on the key areas of the Cardiovascular System and the Reproductive System. By studying these systems, learners will be able to develop their problem solving and analytical thinking skills. In the Cardiovascular System, pupils learn about circulation of blood, blood vessel structure, heart structure, cardiac cycle, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. In the Reproductive System, pupils learn about organs, hormonal control and the biology of controlling fertility, including fertile periods, treatments for infertility, contraception, and genetic screening.

Human Biology: Neurobiology and Communication (Higher)
In this Unit, learners will develop knowledge and understanding through the key areas of the nervous system and communication and social behaviour. In this unit, pupils learn about the function of the Nervous System, covering; – brain structure, limbic system, neural communication and the links between neurotransmitters, memory, Alzheimer’s disease, Smart Drugs, brain injuries, recreational drugs, addiction, mood and behaviour.

Human Biology: Immunology and Public Health (Higher)
In this Unit, learners will develop knowledge and understanding through the key areas of the immune system and infectious diseases and immunity. In this unit, pupils learn about the immune system’s role covering; – physical and chemical defences by the skin and mucous membranes, specific and non-specific responses, allergic and defence responses, infectious diseases, pathogens, transmission, control of infectious diseases, active immunisation, vaccination, public health medicine, herd immunity, antigenic variation.