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The department staff are committed to delivering the highest quality of teaching whilst providing a caring and supportive environment for learning and achievement.

  • Miss Sheona Smith (Principal Teacher)
  • Miss Rebecca Breau
  • Miss Lauren Davey
  • Mrs Esther MacLean 
  • Mrs Jennifer Morrison

From microscopic bacteria to the gigantic blue whale, biology is the scientific study of the vast and diverse world of living organisms.

In recent years, biologists have revealed a wealth of knowledge about ourselves and the millions of living organisms with which we share our world.

It is important for everyone to develop an informed idea of how we fit into the complex nature of our planet, and the study of biology allows us to do that.

The biology courses at Inverness Royal Academy will help you to gain knowledge and understanding of this extremely important area of science.

The study of biology will allow you to explore the diverse processes of life from the interactions of plants and animals to the organisation of cells into tissues and organs.

The study of biology will also introduce you to ideas at the forefront of modern scientific development.


S3/4: National 4 & 5 Biology

The course provides a broad-based study of a wide range of biological topics.

It helps develop an understanding of the way in which biological principles can be applied to the issues facing the individual and society, and fosters in pupils, positive attitudes to themselves and others.

The course is based on three units. As well as the core content, each unit will contain elements of numeracy, literacy and health and wellbeing. The units are summarised below:

Cell biology

  • Cell structure and function
  • Cell division
  • DNA and biotechnology
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration

Multicellular organisms

  • Cells, tissues and organs
  • Control of biological processes
  • Reproduction and inheritance
  • Health and disease

Life on earth

  • Biodiversity and life on earth
  • Sampling techniques
  • Natural selection and evolution
  • Behaviour
  • Ethical issues

S5/6: Higher Biology - Higher Human Biology & Advanced Higher Biology

Higher Biology

The course develops candidates’ interest and enthusiasm for biology in a range of stimulating, relevant and enjoyable contexts. The skills of scientific inquiry and investigation are developed throughout the course.
Higher Biology is accepted as a qualifying subject for all Biology related courses at Scottish Universities.

The course has three units:

  • DNA and the genome – focussing on the structure and function of DNA and the study of genomics.
  • Metabolism and survival – focussing on enzymes, respiration and methods of coping with the environment which an animal inhabits.
  • Sustainability and interdependence – focussing on food supply, animal welfare and biodiversity.

Higher Human Biology

This a diverse and interesting course, providing a clear progression from National 5 Biology and the content covers many areas where scientific developments are currently taking place. Stem cell research, for example, is one of the topics studied and is receiving much media attention at present.
Higher Human Biology is accepted as a qualifying subject for all Biology related courses at Scottish Universities.

The course has three units:

  • Cell Biology – focussing on structures and processes inside human cells, including DNA, enzymes and energy production.
  • Physiology and Health – focussing on reproductive biology and cardiovascular biology.
  • Neurobiology and Immunology – focussing on structures and functions in the brain and the immune system in the human body, along with drug development processes.

Advanced Higher Biology

This course provides a broad based integrated study of a wide range of biological topics which build on the concepts developed in Higher Biology. It provides a general basis for further study at college or university and is particularly valuable for those embarking on a career in the biological sciences, medicine or veterinary medicine.


Cells and Proteins:

  • Laboratory techniques for biologists
  • Proteins
  • Membrane proteins
  • Communication and signalling
  • Protein control of cell division

Organisms and Evolution:

  • Field techniques for biologists
  • Evolution
  • Variation and sexual reproduction
  • Sex and behaviour
  • Parasitism

Investigative Biology:

  • Scientific principles and process
  • Experimentation
  • Reporting and Critical evaluation of biological research


  • An in-depth study of a biology topic

Photo / Image Credits


Contact Us

Culduthel Road
01463 667800