Higher Biology

Welcome Biologists!!

On these pages, you'll be able to find information on the course structure, homeworks that you've been set in class and links to some additional resources. If you find anything useful in your own revision, please let us know and we'll add it so that everyone can benefit.

There is access to your teacher's powerpoints via a separate site. Please ask Mrs Kennedy or Mr Martin for more information.


Remember that study clubs are running on the following nights for an hour after school, every week;

Mondays - Mr Martin

Thursdays - Miss Grant-Forsyth


Course Overview


Higher Biology

The course consists of three Units whose contents are briefly described below. 

1. DNA and the Genome – Structure and replication of DNA, genes and their expression, mutations, evolution and the genome.

2. Metabolism and Survival – Metabolic pathways, respiration, conformers and regulators, environmental and genetic control of metabolism.

3. Sustainabilityand Interdependence – Food supply, plant growth and productivity, plant and animal breeding, symbiosis, social behaviour, extinction and biodiversity.

 Studying each Unit should allow pupils to develop their biological knowledge as well as their problem solving and practical skills.



At the end of each Unit, pupils sit a test which assesses their knowledge and understanding as well as their problem solving ability. Pupils must pass these tests in order to sit the final exam. Any pupil who fails a test will have the opportunity to take another test on the Unit, after appropriate revision. 

In order to gain a course award in Biology, pupils must sit an exam in May. This exam consists of one paper worth 100 marks.  Questions in the final exam are based on the work covered in all three units. All pupils will sit a prelim exam in February as preparation for this final exam.

 Pupils also have to complete an assignment in which they research a topic and then write a report on it. This is marked by the SQA and is worth 20 marks.  The final grade awarded is based on candidate performance in the exam and the assignment.


Pupils will be given regular homework, much of it based on Past Paper questions.

 Entry Requirements

Fifth year pupils wishing to take this course should have obtained an A or B pass in National 5 Biology. Any pupil who has not got this qualification must discuss his or her reasons for attempting the course with Mr Forbes.

Sixth year pupils wishing to take this course should also have obtained an A or B pass in National 5 Biology. Pupils who have not studied Biology but have a Higher pass in a related Science subject, such as Chemistry, can also take this course. Any sixth year pupil who has doubts about his or her eligibility to do the course should discuss this with Mr Forbes.


Pupils who achieve Higher Biology may progress to Advanced Higher within the school.  A pass in Higher Biology can also lead to HNC, HND and degree level study in Biological Sciences and Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Dietetics, Radiography and Chiropody.  A pass in Higher Biology can also be used as an entry qualification to many general University and College courses.

For further information contact Mr L. Forbes, PT of Biology.



Mrs McMinn

Mr Forbes

Mrs Kennedy



Mr Martin

Mrs Valsinger

Friday 6th March

Genetic control and control by hormones past paper questions



If you wish to access the powerpoint documents used in class please go to


The group code is 2gr58t and you should register with your REAL name. 



Unit 1 - DNA & The Genome

DNA Structure and Organisation:

Looking at the structure of a nucleotide, pay attention to the numbering of the carbon molecules. Video

The scientists involved in the discovery of DNA structure are discussed here

DNA Replication:

Meselson and Stahl's experiment on DNA replication

An excellent animation and video on DNA replication

Polymerase Chain Reaction:

Try this virtual lab on PCR

Protein Synthesis:

Try this

Differentiation and Stem Cells:

Read through these factsheets


Watch this video or this Bozeman podcast

Evolution and Speciation:

Try this game


You should be able to find the revision planner here and the practice questions for this unit are here. Remember you can also use the BBC Bitesize website to try revision questions at any time.


Unit 3 - Sustainability & Interdependence

You can find the A/B test here, and the mark scheme here



You can find the resource pack for the assignment available to download here


Unit 1 checklist

Unit 2 checklist

Unit 3 checklist