Biology Higher

What is special about this course?

Biology is the study of living organisms  and it plays a crucial role in our everyday life, and is an increasingly important subject in the modern world. Biology affects everyone, and biologists work to find solutions to many of the world’s problems. Advances in technology have made biology more exciting and relevant than ever.

You will learn to think analytically, to research, problem solve and plan as you cover a variety of biology concepts.

Entry requirements

You should ideally have achieved a pass at National 5 or Intermediate 2 in Biology.

You will attend an interview.

The units covered in the course are:

Structure of DNA

  • replication of DNA
  • gene expression
  • cellular differentiation
  • the structure of the genome
  • mutations
  • evolution
  • genomic sequencing

Metabolism and survival

  • metabolic pathways
  • cellular respiration
  • metabolic rate
  • metabolism in conformers and regulators
  • metabolism and adverse conditions
  • environmental control of metabolism
  • genetic control of metabolism

Sustainability and interdependence

  • food supply, plant growth and productivity
  • plant and animal breeding
  • crop protection
  • animal welfare
  • symbiosis
  • social behaviour
  • components of biodiversity
  • threats to biodiversity




How will I study my course?

  • Part Time
  • Evening

Each week will comprise of scheduled, connected learning time and flexible learning time. You need to commit to both, but you can choose when to complete flexible learning to fit around work, caring and personal commitments.  Some flexible learning must be done on a weekly basis.  

Connected learning is when you learn together with lecturers, students and others. Connected learning happens at a scheduled time in a practical workshop, an online-classroom, a studio, a specialist classroom, the workplace or in the outdoors.

Flexible learning covers lecturer directed learning and self-directed learning

Lecturer-directed learning is weekly learning activity, for example:

  • posting your idea in a discussion forum,
  • completing a quiz, 
  • practising a task, activity or idea
  • watching a video or reading,
  • discussing and working on a solution with another student,
  • researching and gathering information,
  • completing an assignment or project-based task. 

Self-directed learning is your decision about further study and focus.  We encourage you to take ownership of your learning and areas of interest. You can ask us to help you to determine areas for further development.

Your connected learning will take place in an online-classroom.  This will include a combination of video conferencing, interactive chat and sharing of presentation slides and other visuals. Online-classrooms provide you with real time interaction, contact and discussion with your lecturer and fellow students. We have ten college centres and there may be an option to study some of the time from your local centre. This will depend on social distancing limitations.

How long will my course last?

34 Weeks

This course is part time and is delivered in all our college centres (using networked learning), on Monday evenings from 6-9pm.

How will I be assessed?

    You will be assessed through ongoing class work and a final SQA external exam in April/May.

Where can I study my course?

    • Auchtertyre
    • Broadford
    • Fort William
    • Gairloch
    • Kilchoan
    • Kinlochleven
    • Mallaig
    • Portree
    • Strontian
    • Ullapool

Start date





A Fee Waiver or funding of up to £200 could be available to help with payment of course fees, depending on your personal circumstances.

This support will be available for people who are 16 or over, living in Scotland and either in low paid work or actively seeking work. To be eligible, you must have income of £22,000 a year or less, or be on certain benefits.

You will also not be undertaking any secondary, further or higher education, SDS funded training or participating on the Community Jobs Scotland programme.

Please contact your local college centre for more information about eligibility, or call us on 01397 874000.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On successful completion of this course students could follow a number of different paths

Path 1  Nursing or the Medical Profession

  • Access to nursing
  • Nurse degree with other suitable highers.

Path 2    Environmental Sector

  • Higher Environmental Science
  • Waste Management
  • Marine Biology

Path 3     Further Biology  Study

  • HNC and Degrees in Biological Disciplines

Path 4     Biotechnology

  • Detergent Science

Is there more information available online?

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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Apply for Biology Higher

We are no longer accepting applications for 2020/21

I want to start in 2021/22

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at West Highland College UHI. West Highland College operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.