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An Overview of the Curriculum

The Biology Curriculum is uniquely designed to cover both breadth and depth of the subject. Modules adopt a spiral and thematic approach that aims to enable students to build a solid foundation in biology and prepare them for advanced studies of biology and biology related disciplines. In chronological sequence of learning, these modules are Foundations in Biology I, Foundations in Biology II, Foundations in Biology III, Advanced Biology I, Advanced Biology II and Applied Biology.

The first three years are Foundation Years which will introduce students to the basic concepts of the various fields of biology, while allowing them to develop observation and inquiry skills. Besides equipping them with a good foundation, the experiential and hands-on learning will also provide an opportunity for them to pick up good habits of the mind and effective scientific skills. The topics covered include cell biology, human biology, botany, animal physiology, genetics and molecular biology.

The next three years are Specialization Years whereby students who are interested in pursuing biology related disciplines in universities will continue their learning in biology beyond the basics. The topics covered include evolutionary biology, ecology, biodiversity, molecular genetics and biochemistry. Students will explore biological phenomena, learn more extensively via outdoor field trips and engage in more in-depth investigations. There is more exposure to critical thinking and analytical skills in the more demanding modules, as well as an emphasis towards more knowledge application in broader and concept-orientated perspectives. Students will also become more independent in their learning approaches.

The Department offers both Major in Biology and Major with Honours in Biology. To qualify for reading a Major with Honours in Biology, students have to achieve consistently good results in Core modules.

Students will have the option of sitting for the AP Biology examination in Year 6.

The Department follows the general school policies on curriculum and assessment. For more details, please refer to the school curriculum framework.

The Department does not practice exemption and acceleration of modules. Students who may have advanced knowledge in certain topics in Biology will still be expected to go through the modules to attain hands-on experience in the laboratory and in the field, which unlike theoretical knowledge, cannot be acquired from textbooks.