Diploma in Human Biology


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Diploma in Human Biology

Why Oxford Learning College


This subject covers all the aspects of the life-science study of humans and all organisms from the tiniest single-celled animal cells that make up the body to plants, cells combining to form all our various organs, how these work and what affects us. Details about how our body works, how and why we get 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 inherit our genetic make-up, as well as what makes up all the organisms surrounding us.


Module 1: The Chemistry of Life and Cells


The first simple organism that formed on earth was only one-cell big. These cell 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 our body to function, the transport of materials in and out of cells as well as around e.g. 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 in bodies.


Module 3: Genes, Cell Cycles and Genetic Engineering and its Applications

The processes that continually occur within the cells of 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 - gene expression in humans and how variation and mutation occurs within a species. The 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 always discussed, e.g. Mendelian genetics.


Module 4: The Mammal, Bacteria and Viruses


In this module we look at the structure and function of the human circulatory system including cardiac cycle and cardiac output. We also examine the composition of blood and the microbiology of viruses and bacteria which are similar in function to the cells within the body; also discussing how these are transported around the body. How oxygen and what else is needed gets to each cell and is able to have all its waste removed is shown. This is a comprehensive module, spanning many body systems but will provide 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, and so looks 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 so we can move, talk etc. We are also able to react to stimuli in the environment. 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, so how humans respond to various stimuli such as pain, danger etc. and how this information is passed around the body is detailed in order to understand how everything in humans is controlled from 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 the heart pumping 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. Darwins), 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 will be 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 flows (through various cycles e.g. the carbon and Nitrogen cycles), as well as looking at ecosystems and their role in human endurance. The module will examine farming methods and food production relevant to human nutritional needs and problems. 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 will be covered.


Module 10: Life Cycle


Clearly, reproduction sets living and non-living things a part, otherwise robots really could replace humans. In this final module reproduction, growth and development will be looked at in some 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.

Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above.

Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Study Hours

Approximately 20 hours per unit

Assessment Method

Final online multiple choice examination.

Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.


Diploma in Human Biology

This course is Quality Assured by the Quality Licence Scheme
Quality Assured by QLS

At the end of this course successful learners will receive an e-Certificate from Oxford Learning College. There is also the option to purchase an Embossed Certificate and also a certificate from ABC Awards for the qualification.

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future.

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners' and/or employers' requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

ABC Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, and the Welsh Government. It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. As a registered charity, ABC Awards combines 180 years of expertise but also implements a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers. Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards also offers Ofqual regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.

How can I progress

For more information on how to progress after completing this course, please click here

Additional Information

You will receive a certificate from the College. A digital version is included in the price and will be emailed to you within 5 days of taking your online exam.

Should you require an embossed hard copy of your certificate to be sent to you by Special Delivery post, you can order this separately after taking your exam.

The course can be enrolled upon by students Internationally. There are no deadlines for enrolments.

To view the differences between our qualifications, please click HERE

What's Included

Online study materials to enable the student to successfully complete the Diploma. Support is provided by the tutor department for the duration of the course (1 year). Certification upon completion. All examination fees.

Course Fee


Payment by Instalments

Students are able to pay course fees in monthly instalments. Click here to download our instalment plan.

Further Information

The Quality Assured Diploma is a Level 3 equivalent on the National Qualifications Framework. The Diploma is a 1 year course which is self study and is examined by online examination. The Diploma is awarded by Oxford College. Upon completion of the course you will receive certification awarded by Oxford College.

The Level 3 Diplomas require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order to for students to manage study and the assumed knowledge within course content.

They provide an ability to gain and apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding in a specific subject at a detailed level. Level 3 qualifications such as A levels, NVQ3, BTEC Diplomas etc. are appropriate if you plan to progress to university study.

Level 3 Diploma courses can assist you in career development, continued professional development, personal development, and provision of a basis for further study.

Progression from Level 3 is to specialist learning and detailed analysis of a higher level of information (for example university level study, Diploma Level 5 study).

Your course is delivered online via the Oxford Learning On Campus website.

This is a flexible learning course, so the more time you have to commit to your studies, the sooner you are able to complete.

In the student 'On Campus' you are also able to take part in the student chat room and forums as part of our online student community.

After enrolling online you will receive your username and password to access the On Campus area within 3 working days.

Materials and support provided by Oxford Learning. Oxford Learning

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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 13 August, 2009.

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