NCEA L2 Biology - Mātauranga Koiora A

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Mr M. Anderson

The study of life itself, level 2 Biology explores the theories and principles involved in living systems, in all their intricate beauty.  Topics you will learn about include: cell structure and function,  ecology,  genetics and evolution, plant and animal adaptations as well as practical biology and research skills.  By the end of the course, you will know about the principles of genetics, cell reproduction, natural selection, evolutionary theory, plant and animal interactions, and more.

You will gain an understanding of how society makes decisions about scientific issues, as well some of the ways in which the scientific community contributes to the success of the economy and society.

All students go to Rotoiti Lodge towards the start of term 2 to carry out practical investigations and learning about some of the wonderful flora and fauna of Te Wai Pounamu. 

If you are interested in understanding how we evolved, finding out how cells – “little bags of water with things dissolved in them” – carry out so many different processes in a seemingly effortless fashion, tracking down natural resources, the true impacts of pollution on the natural world, or animal care and conservation programmes, to name a few, then this is your subject.

Course Overview

Semester A
In this Semester you will start exploring life processes - a topic that is assessed externally. You will learn about cell structures such as the mitochondria and plasma membrane and explain how they work. You will look in detail at respiration and photosynthesis.

As the Semester progresses, you will learn ecological sampling techniques to help prepare for Biocamp early in May. Biocamp is a full week-long field trip to Rotoiti Lodge to investigate the flora and fauna of the St Arnaud alpine region. The week is intense but will lead to you potentially completing two internal standards.

On return, you will go back to preparing for the external, learning about enzymes and the cell cycle.

If you are taking Semester A biology and not Semester B you will be entered into the Cells and Organelles external examination.

For students who choose to only study Semester A, these options would particularly go well with biology. OED2B, MAT2B

Recommended Prior Learning

We recommend that you achieve 14 credits in Science at Level 1, or higher. However, if you are really keen and are willing to work hard, we will consider you. If you want advice on whether Biology is for you, see Mr M Anderson or Dr E Attridge

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

This course will have a trip cost. The cost will cover the cost of food, transport and accommodation for the camp/trip. All curriculum costs will be covered by the school.


Career Pathways

Credit Information

This course is eligible for subject endorsement.

Total Credits Available: 12 credits.
Externally Assessed Credits: 4 credits.
Internally Assessed Credits: 8 credits.

Internal or
L1 Literacy Credits
UE Literacy Credits
Numeracy Credits
A.S. 91153 v2
Biology 2.1 - Carry out a practical investigation in a biology context, with supervision
Level: 2
Internal or External: Internal
Credits: 4
Level 1 Literacy Credits: 0
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Numeracy Credits: Y
A.S. 91156 v2
Biology 2.4 - Demonstrate understanding of life processes at the cellular level
Level: 2
Internal or External: External
Credits: 4
Level 1 Literacy Credits: Y
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 4w
Numeracy Credits: 0
A.S. 91158 v2
Biology 2.6 - Investigate a pattern in an ecological community, with supervision
Level: 2
Internal or External: Internal
Credits: 4
Level 1 Literacy Credits: Y
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Numeracy Credits: 0
Credit Summary
Total Credits: 12
Total Level 1 Literacy Credits: 8
Total University Entrance Literacy Credits: 4
Total Numeracy Credits: 4