The Human Biology ATAR course gives students a chance to explore what it is to be human—how the human body works, the origins of human variation, inheritance in humans, the evolution of the human species and population genetics. Through their investigations, students research new discoveries that increase our understanding of human dysfunction, treatments and preventative measures.
Practical tasks are an integral part of this course and develop a range of laboratory skills; for example, biotechnology techniques.
Students learn to evaluate risks and benefits to make informed decisions about lifestyle and health topics, such as diet, alternative medical treatments, use of chemical substances and the manipulation of fertility.
Human Biology ATAR
WACE Breadth & Depth Requirement:
65% in Science Standard and 50% in Science Extended
The Functioning Human Body
This unit looks at how human structure and function supports cellular metabolism and how lifestyle choices affect body functioning. Cells are the basic structural and functional unit of the human body. Cells contain structures that carry out a range of functions related to metabolism, including anabolic and catabolic reactions. Materials are exchanged in a variety of ways within and between the internal and external environment to supply inputs and remove outputs of metabolism. Metabolic activity requires the presence of enzymes to meet the needs of cells and the whole body. The respiratory, circulatory, digestive and excretory systems control the exchange and transport of materials in support of metabolism, particularly cellular respiration. The structure and function of the musculo-skeletal system provides for human movement and balance as the result of the co-ordinated interaction of the many components for obtaining the necessary requirements for life.
Reproduction and Inheritance
This unit provides opportunities to explore, in more depth, the mechanisms of transmission of genetic materials to the next generation, the role of males and females in reproduction, and how interactions between genetics and the environment influence early development. The cellular mechanisms for gamete production and zygote formation contribute to human diversity. Meiosis and fertilisation are important in producing new genetic combinations.