Higher Human Biology (Course Code: C840 76)

SCQF Level 6 (24 SCQF credit points)

Human Biology Image

Why study Human Biology?

Human Biology has wide range of appeal and interest because of its relevance to people. The course is designed to enable you to develop an understanding of the way biological principles can be applied to many issues facing individuals and society today, such as health care and increasing population.

The skills you learn in Human Biology are useful in further study or careers in the life sciences.

Career Pathways

To see what career areas this subject could lead to and the routes to get there, download and view these career pathways:

Hairdressing, Beauty and Wellbeing

Health and Medicine

Science and Maths


Uniformed and Security Services

What do I need to get in?

Entry is at the discretion of the school or college, but you would normally be expected to have achieved:

What will I study?

This course aims to give you a deeper understanding of cellular processes, physiological mechanisms, communication between organisms, and the biology of populations as they apply to the human species.

The course consists of three areas of study.

Human cells

Key areas covered are:

Division and differentiation in human cells; structure and replication of DNA; gene expression; mutations; human genomics; human genomics; metabolic pathways; cellular respiration; and energy systems in muscle cells.

Physiology and health

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 (CVD); and blood glucose levels and obesity.

Neurobiology and immunology

Key areas covered are:

Divisions of the nervous system and neural pathways; the cerebral cortex; memory; the cells of the nervous system and the neurotransmitters at synapses; non-specific body defences; specific cellular defences against pathogens; immunisation; clinical trials of vaccines and drugs.

How will I be assessed?

The course assessment has two components totalling 120 marks:

Both question papers are set and externally marked by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

The grade awarded is based on the total marks achieved across course assessment.

The course assessment is graded A-D.

Study Materials

What can I go on to next?

Successful completion of this course may lead to:

Further study, training or employment in:

Which jobs are related to this subject?

Where can my parents find out more?

Your school will give your parents an Options or Choices information booklet, which has detailed information on the curriculum and the individual subjects or courses you can study. It will also invite them along to a Parents’ Information Evening.

They can also read the information leaflet(s):

Nationals in a Nutshell - Human Biology (Higher)