National 5 Biology Assignment Sample

There is a range of material available, including examples of candidate evidence with commentaries, as part of our Understanding Standards programme. This material is for teachers and lecturers to help them develop their understanding of the standards required for assessment. As new material is developed we will publish this information in our weekly Centre News. All material available can be found in the following locations:

  • Available from our Understanding Standards website Material relating to externally assessed components of course assessment, with the exception of those subject to visiting assessment.
  • Available from our secure website Material relating to internally assessed components of course assessment, and components of course assessment which are subject to visiting assessment. In addition, material relating to freestanding units which are no longer part of National 5 courses can be found on this website. Teachers and lecturers can arrange access to these materials through their SQA Co-ordinator.

More information on Understanding Standards material for this subject can be found on our Understanding Standards website at

The National 5 webinar provides a detailed overview of the revised course assessment for this subject.

National 5 Biology 15 June 2017

Additional CPD support

Where any particular areas of concern are identified, which are not addressed by our Understanding Standards events or support materials, we will offer free continuing professional development (CPD) training, subject to request. CPD support is subject-specific and can be tailored to cover one or more qualification level. To find out more about this service visit our CPD page.

SSERC, in partnership with SQA, have produced teacher/technician guides that provide background information to teachers/lecturers. Candidate guides containing protocols have also been produced. These are available via the following link:

National 5 Biology Assignment SSERC Resources

National 5 Biology Assignment

National 5 Biology - Assignment

The SQA has recently announced changes to the Course Specification for National 5 Biology. You can access the Revised Course Specification here.

One of the major changes which will come into effect at the start of the 2017/2018 academic session is that practical / experimental / fieldwork will become a mandatory feature of the assignment. The Biology Team has been commissioned to produce 2 Resource Packs which could be used to support teachers and students with this change. Details of the resource packs follow but we should point out that these are exemplars not mandatory pieces of practical work which must be done.  We acknowledge that many other practicals currently undertaken would be equally appropriate for use to support the assignment.  Indeed, over the coming months we shall, within SSERC, be looking to see how we might add to the pool of exemplars.

We would be happy to receive comments / feedback on the Resource Packs and this can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Each Resource Pack consists of 3 elements:

  • A Teacher / Technician Guide.
  • A Student Guide.
  • A generic risk assessment which might be used as the basis for the circumstances which exist in your own school / college.

Resource Pack 1 - Limiting Factors in Photosynthesis

The elements of this resource pack can be accessed:

Resource Pack 2 - Fertiliser and the Growth of Algae

The elements of this resource pack can be accessed:

Understanding Standards Events

SSERC has been invited to attend a series of Understanding Standards events organised by SQA.  The SSERC presentation, delivered as part of these events, can be downloaded here.


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