Biology Higher

What is special about this course?

This online course will help you gain an understanding of how the world around you works, whilst also studying major scientific advances such as genomics.
You will develop and apply knowledge and understanding of biology, particularly an understanding of DNA and how the structure of the genome leads to the basis of evolution and biodiversity.

The interdependence and complex interactions between organisms is explored and sustainable food production, with the fundamental process of photosynthesis at its core, is investigated.

Higher Biology is recognised as a supporting qualification for many institutions offering courses such as pharmacy, dentistry, zoology, and more. You will also be prepared for further education, training or employment, in areas associated with life sciences.

Special features:

  • You will investigate a range of topics from molecular through to whole organism and beyond.
  • You will evaluate the impact of scientific developments on health and wellbeing, society and the environment.
  • You can study part time alongside your employment or another full time course.
  • This course covers all the content of the SQA Higher course to prepare you for the exam which takes place in May.

Entry requirements

  • One National 5 OR
  • Practical Science at SCQF Level 5

Applications are encouraged from mature students who do not possess formal qualifications but have skills to meet the academic demand of the course.

Course content includes:

DNA and the genome 
The key areas covered are:

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

Metabolism and survival 
The key areas covered are: 

  • 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 
The key areas covered are:

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


You will be required to purchase a Higher Biology textbook: Second edition (£24) and a scientific calculator (£8). If you are eligible for a bursary these costs will be covered.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time
  • Online

You will study online through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) with support from your lecturers, however you will be required to attend three face-to-face sessions to complete assignments, prelim and exam.

How long will my course last?

1 Academic Year

Course cost: £352

Where can I study my course?

    • UHI Moray

Start date



The good news is that depending on your personal circumstances there are a wide range of bursaries, grants and allowances available to fund your college studies.


Our Student Finance Advisers can advise you on all aspects of student funding. The support available depends upon your personal circumstances.
Please refer to our Fees and Funding section for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On successful completion of this course, you may progress onto:

  • Laboratory Science at SCQF Level 6
  • Higher Environmental Science
  • HNC Applied Science

Alternatively, a Higher Biology qualification may be a requirement when applying to other institutions offering courses such as pharmacy, dentistry, zoology, and more.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Biology Higher

I want to start in 2023/24

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Moray. UHI Moray 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.