The preliminary HSC Biology course consists of four core modules that make up 120 indicative hours in total.
The modules studied are:
- A Local Ecosystem (20 indicative hours);
- Patterns in Nature (40 indicative hours);
- Life on Mars (30 indicative hours);
- Evolution of Australian Biota (30 indicative hours).
All four core modules must be completed in order to complete the preliminary biology course. The preliminary biology course is a prerequisite to the HSC biology course.
The HSC Biology course consists of three core modules that make up 90 indicative hours in total, and ONE option that makes up 30 indicative hours.
The core modules studied are:
- Maintaining a Balance (30 indicative hours);
- Blueprint of Life (30 indicative hours);
- The Search for Better Health (30 indicative hours).
The options available are:
- Genetics: The Code Broken?;
- The Human Story;
- Earth's Formation.
Maintaining a Balance
Multicellular organisms have specialised organ systems that are adapted for the uptake and transportof essential nutrients from the environment, the utilisation or production of energy and the removal of waste products arising from cellular activities.
The basis of healthy body-functioning in all organisms is the health of their cells. The physical and chemical factors of the environment surrounding these cells must remain within narrow limits for cells to survive. These narrow limits need to be maintained and any deviation from these limits must be quickly corrected. A breakdown in the maintenance of this balance causes problems for the organism.
The nervous and endocrine systems in animals and the hormone system in plants bring about the coordinated functioning of these organ systems. They are able to monitor and provide the feedback necessary to maintain a constant internal environment. Enzyme action is a prime example of the need for this balance. Enzymes control all of the chemical reactions that constitute the body’s metabolism. As enzymes normally function only within a narrow temperature range, even a small rise in body temperature can result in the failure of many of the reactions of metabolism that are essential to life.
This module increases students’ understanding of the applications and uses of biology, implications for society and the environment and current issues, research and developments in biology. Biology Stage 6 Syllabus
Most organisms are active in a limited temperature range
- identify the role of enzymes in metabolism, describe their chemical composition and use a simple model to describe their specificity on substrates