Cell and Molecular Biology - understanding of molecular structure and organisation, as well as cellular structure and organisation is crucial in understanding how biological systems work and aid in understanding why processes happen the way they do and why some molecules are more suited for certain functions than others. Lab-work in this area at this level is limited and generally, not very tenuous. However, at higher levels, studies of cell & molecular biology are crucial in the fields of medicine and therapuetics.
Genetics, Variation & Natural Selection - understanding the structure of genes and the nature of inheritance helps in our understanding of the diversity of organisms and why some species are more populous than others in certain regions or through certain eras. Two major scientists play a role in this section - Gregor Mendel, known as the Father of Modern Genetics, and Charles Darwin, for his theory of evolution through natural selection. There is also an introduction to genetic engineering and the ethical issues surrounding it, as well as its influence in agriculture and medicine.
Reproductive Biology - this is a fairly straight-forward module focusing on reproduction in humans and angiosperms (flowering plants).
Bio-energetics - looks at the flow of energy within biochemical systems. Photosynthesis and Respiration are the main focus of this module, with students expected to have good working understanding of the Light and Dark Reactions, including the Calvin Cycle, as well as Glycolysis, the TriCarboxylic Acid Cycle and the Electron Transport Mechanism. This module can be much easier understood and appreciated if the student has an understanding and appreciation for Albert Einstein's Photoelectric Effect - of which some of its principles are applicable to the electron transport processes. Details of enzymes and transporters need not be known at this level, but should a student pursue Medicine or Biochemistry - they will eventually have to learn them all.
Bio-systems Maintenance - this module zones in on human body systems such as the Cardiovascular and Renal Systems, the Nervous System and Homeostasis. It also looks at Transport in plants. Aspiring medical students should try to grasp all the concepts in this part of the syllabus very well, as it forms the basis of understanding of body systems.
Applications of Biology - understanding how biological concepts learned applies to society is important. This module is also one in which aspiring Medical students should attempt to grasp all the concepts. An understanding of immunology is key to understanding how the body defends itself and responds to threats and potentially harmful agents. This module requires some analytical skills in terms of graphical interpretations. The difference between a correlation and a cause need to be clearly understood (though it is not mentioned in the syllabus) and students need to know how to answer data analysis questions such as these. Sometimes, very specific data is provided - for example, the number of persons who died from lung cancer between the ages of 50-70yrs from the 1960s to present - it is important that students understand that they cannot make any conclusion about the numbers of smokers; they must understand that there are many factors which contribute to the same/similar ailments and that evidence is not always conclusive.
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