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Higher Human Biology

Campus Sighthill Campus

Qualification SCQF Level 6

Study mode Evening

Duration 42 weeks

Start date Aug 2024

Cost £350
(see funding options)

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Course overview

Upon completion, you will be academically prepared and eligible to study on a range of Level 5/6 courses offered at Edinburgh College 

Human Biology Higher is a part-time course designed to deepen your understanding of subjects such as Human Cells; Physiology and Health; Neurobiology and Immunology. Biology is the study of living organisms and aims to find solutions for many of the world’s problems. Biology qualifications will allow you to progress toward a career in science or further study.  

Biology plays a crucial role in our everyday existence and due to technological advances, this varied subject is now more exciting and relevant than ever. Our Science department offers you the opportunity to study in purpose-built laboratories. These will support the development of your general and specialist practical skills whilst enhancing your theoretical understanding of science. 

Higher qualifications, accredited by the SQA, are typically studied at high school and college. These qualifications act as pathways to further study including university entry. Edinburgh College offers a selection of subjects at a Higher and Advanced Higher level part-time. You may choose to study up to two subjects. The Higher Human Biology course is challenging and requires the ability to study independently.


Evening classes will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6.00 PM - 9.00 PM. 

What you will learn

Human cells

  • 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

  • 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
  • Blood glucose levels and obesity

Neurobiology and Immunology

  • 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

How the course is assessed

  • You must complete a question paper in exam conditions.

Number of days per week

  • Evening class – three hours per week across one evening.
  • Classes will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6.00 PM - 9.00 PM.
  • Occasional additional classes may be scheduled on alternative evenings. 

Entry requirements

  • National 5 at A/B in Biology (or equivalent)  
  • National 5 at A/B/C in Mathematics (or equivalent) 
  • National 5 at A/B/C in English is recommended but not mandatory (or equivalent) 
  • Applicants should provide a strong personal statement in support of their application which includes the reason they chose to study Higher Human Biology

Information on Tests / Auditions / Interview Requirements

  • You will be invited to an entry test if your qualifications are five years old or older. The entry test is based on content from the National 5 Biology course.

English Proficiency Requirements

IELTS 6.5

Progression and Articulation Routes

  • This course will provide progression to other qualifications in Biology or related areas as well as further study, employment and/or training
  • You can progress to further study at university level by using this course in conjunction with others

Career options

  • Biological and Biomedical sciences 
  • Science industries
  • Nursing and Health care

Study Options

Campus Study mode Start date Duration Cost
Sighthill Campus Evening 29/08/24 42 Weeks £350

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