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Biology - Box Hill Senior Secondary School


Biology is a diverse and evolving science discipline that seeks to understand and explore the nature of life, past and present. Despite the diversity of organisms and their many adaptations for survival in various environments, all life forms share a degree of relatedness and a common origin. The study explores the dynamic relationships between organisms and their interactions with the non-living environment. It also explores the processes of life, from the molecular world of the cell to that of the whole organism.

VCE Biology provides for continuing study in botany, genetics, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology, zoology, biotechnology, dentistry, ecology, education, food science, forestry, health care, horticulture, medicine, optometry, physiotherapy and veterinary science. 

The subject requires the ability to write short answers using scientific terms and a minimum of Maths skill.  

The Unit 1, 2 courses includes an excursion to the Barwon Heads Rocky Shore, the Queenscliff Marine Discovery Centre.

Biology Unit 1, 2 has two exams, a mid year exam and an end of year exam.

The Unit 3, 4 course excursions are being finalised.

Biology Units 3, 4 has one external exam at the end of the year.

Major Topics in Unit 1 and 2:

  • Cells: their structure and function.
  • Multicellular organisms, their respiration and organ systems.
  • The adaptations of organisms, their ability to maintain homeostasis.
  • Communities, habitats, biodiversity and population growth.
  • DNA replication and cell division, Sexual and asexual reproduction
  • Genetic inheritance, pedigrees and genetic crosses
  • Student designed investigation related to growth rates.

Major Topics in Unit 3 and 4 (this is the new curriculum starting 2017):

  • Cell structure, enzymes and cellular reactions.
  • Gene structure and inheritance
  • Nerves, hormones and immune responses.
  • Evolutionary biology, mutation and natural selection.
  • Human evolution
  • DNA manipulation
  • Disease and rational drug design.
  • Student designed investigation into cellular processes or biological change.

Pre-requisite subjects: none for Unit 1, 2.

Biology Units 1 and 2 would be an advantage, for Unit 3 and 4, but are not mandatory.

Unit 1 and 2 has a charge to cover the excursion to the Queenscliff Marine Discovery Centre.

For further information, see the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) website.

For further information, click on the Study Summary link that will take you directly to the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) website.

Science in Action photo gallery-click here