Advanced Higher Biology
The study of biology at any level offers the opportunity not only to extend knowledge in particular spheres of human activity but also to link that knowledge to issues which affect both the individual and society in general. The syllabus at AH, while extending the background knowledge attained at Higher, will also contribute to the development of more general attitudes and abilities related to the processes of science. The ability of the candidate to think creatively and to take the initiative in problem solving situations has proved invaluable to the prospective undergraduate in any discipline.
The course comprises two mandatory 40-hour units and one optional 20-hour unit with a 20-hour investigation unit. Unit one covers Cell and Molecular Biology, Unit two covers Environmental Biology. Unit 3 is chosen from a) Biotechnology, b) Animal Behaviour, and c) Physiology and Exercise. This unit will be chosen by the school.
The ethos of this course is to encourage adult, thoughtful behaviour and a scientific way of approach to varied situations. Investigations are attempted as individuals. These enable candidates to develop their powers of analytical thought, their capacity to perceive and then to solve problems, to communicate facts and ideas and to function both independently and as a member of a team.
Access to the Internet, especially the ‘Scholar’ website of Heriot Watt University, will increasingly be encouraged as a source for additional material.
Formal homework exercises will be issued, but students will be expected to take responsibility for planning their own learning, revision and completion of course work by predetermined deadlines.
It is assumed at this level that each candidate will be involved in a thorough schedule of background reading and awareness in the broadest terms of current areas of research. Essays will be required regularly and a good knowledge of past papers is considered important.
The SQA award will be made on a scale of A to D and will be determined on the basis of one written paper, the practical work and the investigation. The written paper will contain structured and essay questions which will test knowledge and understanding, problem solving and practical abilities. The paper will carry 80% of the total marks. The final project will be worth 20% of the total marks and will be externally assessed. Ten hours of the additional 40 hours will be required for the candidate to complete the investigation report for the course award.