Accredited Level 3 Diploma in Human Biology
This subject covers all the aspects of the life-science study of humans and all organisms from the tiniest single-celled cells combining to form various organs, how they work and what affects them. Details about how the body works, how and why it gets sick, as well the environment that we live in is covered. The human life-cycle is covered so we know everything from how we reproduce to how we and all the organisms surrounding us inherit their genetic make-up.
Module 1: The Chemistry of Life and Cells
The first simple organism that formed on earth was only one-cell big. These cellular creatures developed and became complex. The basic structure and function of cells is explored since all the chemical processes essential to life occur here. These cells are the building blocks of, e.g. our organs from skin to the heart to the brain, as well as of biological synthesis for all organisms. In order for the body to function, the transport of materials in and out of cells and around the body is considered. We look at cells in detail and their functions from how they transport, reproduce and join to form more complicated structures. How we studied and used techniques like chromatography to investigate and learn about cellular activities is also covered.
Module 2: Gaseous Exchange, Enzymes and Digestion
This module looks at the structure and function of the digestive system, respiratory system and the role of enzymes in vital processes essential to nutrient extraction and assimilation. Each topic is linked to provide a logical overview of how oxygen is exchanged between the atmosphere and the blood, together with how the biochemical processes are initiated in order to maintain equilibrium within the body tissues, so how oxygen is used to convert glucose to energy, for example. How digestion occurs and all waste is removed in both cellular to larger organisms is discussed as this helps us understand how life on earth has developed from how Bacteria and fungi composts garden waste to the breakdown of food within bodies.
Module 3: Genes, Cell Cycles and Genetic Engineering and its Applications
The processes of cell division that continually occur in our body are essential to growth, repair and function. This module examines processes of how cells replicate and reproduce in detail, and presents both description and explanation of the genetic code, DNA and gene expression in humans and how variation and mutation occurs within a species. This module links the biological evidence to techniques and concepts of genetic engineering which is relevant to human existence today, for example in how we produce seeds to grow pest-resistant wheat. In addition there will be discussion about genetic markers for disease screening and the issues surrounding gene therapy. Historic discovery through experiments and development of theories related to each topic is discussed, e.g. Mendelian genetics.
Module 4: The Mammal, Bacteria and Viruses
The microbiology of viruses and bacteria are discussed with the composition of body cells e.g. blood as they are similar in function. How oxygen and nutrients are transported around the body to each cell and how all waste is removed is shown. This is a comprehensive module, spanning many body systems e.g. the structure and function of the human circulatory system including cardiac cycle and cardiac output is detailed in a logical overview of how 'foreign' material enters the body and affects wellbeing, e.g. how a coccus bacterium gives a sore throat and how taking medicines or antibiotics can make us better.
Module 5: Biotechnology, Antibiotics, Disease and Diagnosis
As well as causing disease and illness, there are also “good” micro-organisms such as those used in making bread, yoghurt, beer, ethanol, antibiotics or those found in human stomachs. How the best organisms are selected and how they work is discussed, as well as how resistance builds up, e.g. to antibiotics. This module is a logical progression from module 4 by looking at a variety of diseases (many but not all are caused by Bacteria and Virus e.g. ‘flu, laryngitis, Mumps, HIV) and their diagnosis. It will briefly present a range of symptoms and discuss the possible outcomes of these diseases in relation to each system. The module also looks at the history, production and application of antibiotics, screening processes and disease differentiation.
Module 6: Respiration, Photosynthesis, Stimulus and Response
Respiration and photosynthesis are the two most important processes in Biology; they are the reverse of each other. Metabolism refers to all chemical reactions in the cell, and respiration and photosynthesis are two such examples of light energy being changed into useful energy to use to provide movement, speech and function of body systems. We react to stimuli in the environment and the way we react to stimuli is vital to continued successful existence, and is done by the endocrine and central nervous system. The structure and function of the nervous system, e.g. how humans respond to various stimuli such as pain and danger and how this information is passed around the body is described. This helps to understand how everything in humans is controlled e.g. sight, breathing, memory, moving away from fire to producing hormones and enzymes.
Module 7: Hormones, Homeostasis, Muscle and Movement
The nervous and endocrine systems complement each other in order to control biological systems. This module will explore the way in which the human body maintains a steady internal environment. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into tissue fluid which directly diffuses into the blood stream, and exocrine glands secrete into cavities e.g. digestive chemicals or to the outside such as sweat glands. Incorporated within this module will be the structure and function of the musculoskeletal system and how this relates to maintaining homeostasis, particularly movement such as walking and internal movement such as the heart being able to pump blood around the body.
Module 8: Genetics, Variation and Evolution
Evolution and natural selection within any species is dynamic. Continuing from the earlier mention of Gregor Mendel (1822-84), this module examines human evolution, the various theories (e.g. Darwin’s), and the impact of genetics on diversity, variation and natural selection processes. Sex determination is discussed in some depth and related to different non-genetic influences. In addition, inheritance is looked at in respect of evolutionary processes, how organisms developed and are classified.
Module 9: Environment
Why do we live where we do in such diverse environments from Greenland to the desserts in Mali, Africa? The environment is crucial to human survival. In this module we will examine energy and nutrient flow (through various cycles e.g. the carbon and Nitrogen cycles), as well as looking at ecosystems and their role in human endurance. Farming methods and food production relevant to human nutritional needs and problems is examined. In addition, various trophic levels and the role of other animals and plant life in relation to our own existence is discussed. Concepts of human survival, population, competition for survival, and health related to planetary wellbeing and changes are covered.
Module 10: Life Cycle
Clearly, reproduction sets living and non-living things apart otherwise robots really could replace humans. In this final module reproduction, growth and development is looked at in detail. Exploration of different ages of human beings will include looking at relevant processes such as language acquisition, child development stages and what affects us and happens to us in old age. The marvel of pregnancy and birth will be covered and related to different essentials of life such as healthy diet, digestion, wellbeing and how these things are linked to cognitive and physical development.
The coursework is assessed through continuous assessment with no formal exit examinations. Through assessment you will cover certain criteria such as:
- Theoretical Knowledge/ Understanding
- Practical Implications
- Integration of Theory and Practice.
The course has TWO Tutor Marked Assignment (TMA); which are graded: Pass or Fail. The grading procedure if Pass or Fail. Your grade will depend upon if the criteria set ha been met and the decision of your tutor. If you Fail an assessment you have the opportunity to amend where your tutor has highlighted and resubmit.
Study Hours (Per Unit)
Approximately: 20 hours personal study time per unit, which is supported by the ODL Course Tutor, but we greatly encouraged students to access support from their tutor throughout the course.
The whole course MUST be completed and both assignments graded PASS to gain the “Oxford Learning College Level Three Diploma in Human Biology”
Course Fee: £850.00 Fees can be paid by instalments.
Entry to this level three course requires that potential students have gained GCSE/IGCSE or equivalent qualifications and have, good English oral, reading and writing skills.
Advice on enrolment and guidance of prior learning (APL) can be obtained through out contact centre. The course is a rolling programme and can be started at any point in the year. Successful students can go on to Higher Education, including remaining as students at OLC to complete courses in our portfolio of higher awards.
This course has been developed by the College’s professional team of tutors to meet the needs of sector based employers and employees. It is also part of the College’s validated level three Diplomas’, recognised internationally, as verified and moderated Centre for Interactive Education (CIE Global). Further details of our accreditations are provided on our website.