Advanced Higher Biology

Advanced Higher Biology

The Advanced Higher Biology Course focuses on the areas of cells and proteins, organisms and evolution, and investigative biology. Learners develop a sound theoretical understanding and practical experience of experimental investigative work in biological science, and develop their ability to carry out complex practical scientific activities.

Biology homepage


Mandatory information

Course Specification

This explains the overall structure of the Course, including its purpose and aims and information on the skills, knowledge and understanding that will be developed.

Course Assessment Specification

This explains the structure of the Course assessment; including the type and method of assessment. It also includes information on Course coverage.

The comparison document illustrates the additional information provided in the updated version compared with the previous version.

Unit Specifications

These provide an outline of what each Unit will cover within the Course and detail the Outcomes and Assessment Standards.

Advice and guidance

Course and Unit Support Notes

These provide advice and guidance for teachers/lecturers on learning, teaching and assessment within the Course and its Units.

Assessment support

Past Papers and Marking Instructions

Specimen and Exemplar Question Papers and Marking Instructions

These illustrate the standard, structure and requirements of the question papers learners will sit. These also include marking instructions.



Coursework information

General assessment information provides instructions for the conduct of coursework, an overview of the assessment task, evidence to be gathered and general marking instructions.

Coursework assessment tasks provide the live assessment task, including marking instructions and instructions for candidates. Teachers/lecturers can access these confidential documents through their SQA Co-ordinator.

Submitting Coursework

Information on the production and submission of SQA-assessed coursework for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.

Producing and Submitting Coursework


Unit Assessment Support

These documents contain details of Unit assessment task(s), show approaches to gathering evidence and how the evidence can be judged against the Outcomes and Assessment Standards. Teachers/lecturers can arrange access to these confidential documents through their SQA Co-ordinator.


Understanding Standards materials

We are publishing examples of candidate evidence with commentaries as part of our Understanding Standards programme. These materials are for teachers and lecturers to help them develop their understanding of the standards required for assessment. As these materials become available, they are being published in the following locations:

  • Available from our secure website Materials relating to Unit assessment, internally assessed components of Course assessment, and externally assessed components of Course assessment which are subject to visiting assessment. Teachers and lecturers can arrange access to these materials through their SQA Co-ordinator.
  • Available from our Understanding Standards website Materials relating to externally assessed components of Course assessment, with the exception of those subject to visiting assessment.

More information on our Understanding Standards programme, can be found on our Understanding Standards page.


Verification and Course Reports