Biology Senior Nat 5

Course Outline

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

    1. Cell Biology– structure of cells, diffusion and osmosis, mitosis, DNA and protein structure, enzymes, genetic engineering, photosynthesis and  respiration.
    2. Multicellular organisms – stem cells and specialisation of cells, nervous system, reproduction, genetics, plant and animal transport systems.
    3. Life on Earth – biodiversity, ecosystems, sampling techniques used in ecology, adaptation, natural selection, evolution and human impact on the environment.

Studying each Unit will 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 and their problem solving ability. Any pupil who fails the test will be given the opportunity to take another test after appropriate revision.

 In addition pupils must complete an assignment in which they research and write up a report on a biological topic that they are interested in. The assignment is worth 20 marks and comprises 20% of the total marks. The exam in this subject is worth 80 marks and consists of one 2 hour paper.

Questions in the final exam are based on the work covered in all three Units. The final grade awarded is based on candidate performance in both this exam and the assignment.

All pupils will sit a prelim exam in February as preparation for the final exam.


Pupils will be given regular homework.

Entry Requirements

This course is suitable for fifth and sixth year pupils who have obtained either a C or D pass at National 5 Biology or who comfortably passed National 4 Biology in fourth year.

The course is also suitable for pupils who have studied Physics or Chemistry in fourth or fifth year and who want to get another science pass.


Pupils who achieve at least a B pass in National 5 Biology may progress to Higher Biology or Higher Human Biology within the school.

A pass in National 5 Biology can also lead to courses in Biology at college or university.


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