male and female students with microscope



Biology, the study of living organisms, plays a crucial role in our everyday life, and is an increasingly important subject in the modern world. Biology affects everyone, and biologists work to find solutions to many of the world’s problems. Advances in technology have made human biology more exciting and relevant than ever.

The Higher Human Biology course gives students the opportunity to understand and investigate the living world in an engaging and enjoyable way. It develops students’ abilities to think analytically, creatively and independently, and to make reasoned evaluations.

The course provides opportunities for students to acquire and apply knowledge to evaluate biological issues, assess risk, make informed decisions and develop an ethical view of complex issues. Students are able to develop their communication, collaborative working and leadership skills, and are able to apply critical thinking in new and unfamiliar contexts to solve problems. The course uses an experimental and investigative approach to develop knowledge and understanding of concepts in biology.

The course allows students to acquire a deeper understanding of cellular processes, physiological mechanisms and their impact on health, aspects of the nervous system, and defence mechanisms as they apply to the human species.


Level SCQF 6


Online Blended Learning:

  • Wednesday 6 - 9pm
  • Optional tutorial 5 - 5.45pm 
  • This course is open to the public


Online learning platform - Webex and our virtual learning environment (VLE) called Brightspace.  

Duration 1 Year


Course content...

Human cells

The key areas covered are: division and differentiation in human cells; structure and replication of DNA; gene expression; mutations; human genomics; metabolic pathways; cellular respiration; energy systems in muscle cells.

Physiology and health

The key areas covered are: gamete production and fertilisation; hormonal control of reproduction; the biology of controlling fertility; antenatal and postnatal screening; the structure and function of arteries, capillaries and veins; the structure and function of the heart; pathology of cardiovascular disease (CVD); blood glucose levels and obesity.

Neurobiology and immunology

The key areas covered are: divisions of the nervous system and neural pathways; the cerebral cortex; memory; the cells of the nervous system and neurotransmitters at synapses; non-specific body defences; specific cellular defences against pathogens; immunisation; clinical trials of vaccines and drugs.

What next...

Higher Human Biology is an excellent course if you are interested in accessing HNC’s and degree courses in Science or Nursing.


Entry requirements...

National 5 Biology (Standard Grade Biology/Chemistry 2, Int 2 Biology B) plus National 5 Maths.