Biology Units 1 and 2


Biology is a diverse and evolving Science discipline that seeks to understand and explore the nature of life, past and present. This subject explores the processes of life from the molecular world of the cell to that of the whole organism that maintain life and ensure its continuity. Unit 1 and 2 Biology also explores the dynamic relationships between organisms and their interactions with the non-living environment.

Who is it for?

This subject is for those who are interested in pursuing a higher education in biotechnology, botany, genetics, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology and zoology.If you enjoy finding out how things work and applying information to a range of situations will enjoy this subject.

What you learn in Biology can be applied in many fields of endeavour including dentistry, ecology, education, food science, forestry, healthcare, horticulture, medicine, optometry, physiotherapy and veterinary science. Biologists also work in cross-disciplinary areas such as bushfire research, environmental management and conservation, forensic science, geology, medical research and sports science.

What do you do?

In studying this subject you will:

  • perform virtual and hands-on experiments
  • conduct your own investigation into photosynthesis
  • communicate scientific findings using a scientific poster
  • explore strategies for managing biodiversity and explaining relationships between organisms within an ecosystem
  • discuss the social and ethical implications of using biotechnology and genetic testing
  • analyse how genetic traits and illnesses are passed down through generations of a family
  • develop your own response to an issue in genetics or reproductive science.

What skills do you need?

To be successful in this subject you need some understanding of how to conduct a scientific experiment.

Study skills will help you succeed in Biology. These include managing your study schedule and contacting your teacher whenever you have questions.

What skills do you develop?

You will develop skills including:

  • developing aims and questions, formulating hypotheses and making predictions
  • planning and undertaking investigations
  • conducting investigations to collect and record data
  • analysing and evaluating scientific data, methods and models
  • drawing evidence-based conclusions
  • communicating and explaining scientific ideas
  • studying techniques for synthesising large amounts of information and remembering biological vocabulary.



You must have access to the internet in order to access this course. All weekly work will be completed and submitted online.

You are also required to purchase the textbook Nelson Biology VCE Units 1 & 2, third edition.

You will also be required to purchase an exercise book to be used as your logbook for practical activities.

Things to think about

Biology is a hands-on subject.
We expect you to spend approximately 5 hours a week completing the tasks in Biology. You will be required to conduct experiments, dissections and build models. You will need to plan ahead to gather resources and make the time to perform these types of tasks.

Things you can do now

Obtain your textbook as soon as you can – Nelson Biology VCE Units 1 & 2, third edition. Read through the content and quiz yourself with the Recap questions.
If you like movies you might like to watch Moon from 2009 (rated M) or GATACCA (rated M) from 1997 to see how genetics could be used in the future.

Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.

Things to have a look at

Nature Journal

Nature (the most cited scientific journal in the world) have developed Scitable to be like an online textbook with detailed information and great illustrations. Check out ‘Essentials of Cell Biology’ which is the first topic of Unit 1.

Your Genome

Discover more about DNA, genes and genomes, and the implications for our health and society.