VCE Biology enables students to investigate the processes involved in sustaining life at cellular, system, species and ecosystem levels. In undertaking this study, students examine how life has evolved over time and understand that in the dynamic and interconnected system of life all change has a consequence that may affect an individual, a species or the collective biodiversity of Earth. The study gives students insights into how knowledge of molecular and evolutionary concepts underpin much of contemporary biology, and the applications used by society to resolve problems and make advancements.
In VCE Biology students develop a range of inquiry skills involving practical experimentation and research, analytical skills including critical and creative thinking, and communication skills. Students use scientific and cognitive skills and understanding to analyse contemporary biology-related issues, and communicate their views from an informed position.
This study enables students to:
develop knowledge and understanding of key biological models, theories and concepts, from the cell to the whole organism
examine the interconnectedness of organisms, their relationship to their environmental context, and the consequences of biological change over time including the impact of human endeavours on the biological processes of species and more broadly to:
understand the cooperative, cumulative, evolutionary and interdisciplinary nature of science as a human endeavour, including its possibilities, limitations and political and sociocultural influences
develop a range of individual and collaborative science investigation skills through experimental and inquiry tasks in the field and in the laboratory
develop an informed perspective on contemporary science-based issues of local and global significance
apply their scientific understanding to familiar and unfamiliar situations, including personal, social, environmental and technological contexts
develop attitudes that include curiosity, open-mindedness, creativity, flexibility, integrity, attention to detail and respect for evidence-based conclusions
understand and apply the research, ethical and safety principles that govern the study and practice of the discipline in the collection, analysis, critical evaluation and reporting of data
communicate clearly and accurately an understanding of the discipline using appropriate terminology, conventions and formats.
The study is made up of four units.
Unit 1: How do living things stay alive?
Unit 2: How is continuity of life maintained?
Unit 3: How do cells maintain life?
Unit 4: How does life change and respond to challenges over time?