Human Biology & Physiology BSc/MSci

Biology 1A BIOL1001

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Biology 1A introduces students to cellular systems, both at the unicellular and multicellular level. A comparative investigation of these biological systems highlights the specialisation and variation across organisms.


Normally, four lectures per week at 9am or 12pm plus one 3-hour lab per week at 9am or 1pm. 


The course will be assessed by a 90-minute examination (50%) plus in-course assessment, which counts as 50%.


In-course assessment includes:

■ 2x written assignments

■ 1x group project

■ 2x online quizzes

■ 1x student-generated content assessment (PeerWise)

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


The group project and the student-generated content assessment are non-replicable. These total 20% of the course assessment.

Course Aims

The aims of the course are:

■ to provide a broad-based understanding of modern biology at the organismal level; 

■ to provide the knowledge appropriate for continuing studies in Life Sciences;

■ to develop general scientific skills and graduate attributes; 

■ to develop an awareness of current scientific research in Life Science;

■ to introduce core digital literacy skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

■ describe the differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes;

■ describe members of the microbial world and appreciate the important contribution they make to man's survival;

■ recognise how animal form and function reflect biology's overarching theme of evolution;

■ describe the components of nutrition and the consequences of inappropriate nutrition;

■ assess the need for a circulatory and gas exchange system in all but the smallest organisms, and describe its form and function in vertebrates;

■ define what is meant by homeostasis, and discuss the role specific organs and hormones play in homeostasis;

■ describe the spectrum of signalling processes (the nervous system, transmitters, neuromodulators, hormones etc.) within the bodies of animals;

■ describe the components of the mammalian immune response and relate this detail to pathogenic infections;

■ state the basic concepts of ecology and conservation and distinguish between population, community, ecosystem and biome levels of organisation;

■ outline factors that influence distribution of plants and animals, the principal interactions between populations in a community, and biodiversity.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

The minimum requirement for the award of credits is the completion of at least 75% by weight of the summative assessment for the course.