Natural Sciences 2 30NAT2

Course Objectives

The course in natural sciences will enable students to acquire an understanding of the field in general and insight into more specialised topics from some of its constituent subjects, including biology, chemistry, physics and physical geography. Students will acquire insight into the main concepts and working methods within the natural sciences. They will learn to use this knowledge to plan and carry out varied and suitable natural sciences instruction at various class levels in primary and lower-secondary schools.

Course Description


Content: Biogeography covers a general introduction to biogeography and two contrasting regions. This is a specialised programme in biological diversity, ecology and environmental management. General biogeography includes climate and climatic vegetation zones and studies of island communities as a background for research, administration and ecological knowledge.

Arctic Region:

The study of this region covers climate, flora and fauna, ecological adaptation and environmental administration.

The Mediterranean Region:

The programme concentrates on climate, vegetation types, animal life, ecological adaptation, cultural landscapes and environmental management. Mallorca has been chosen to represent the region, and a one-week field course is included from the last week in April to the first week in May.

Objectives: Through the study of biology, students will acquire knowledge and experience of fieldwork, and an understanding of the earth’s climate and climatic vegetation zones. In addition, they will acquire insight into the development of geographic plant and animal regions. They will develop an understanding of ecology and of environmental management in the Arctic and Mediterranean regions, and they will participate in a field course in Mallorca.

Cell Biology and Plant Physiology

Content: The course covers biochemical processes in plant and animal cells, with particular emphasis on photosynthesis and cell respiration. Introduction to how a cell’s organelles function in energy production. The main aspects of how growth occurs in plants, and the transportation of water and nutrients in plants.

Objectives: Students should be able to explain photosynthesis and cell respiration. They should also be able to describe the main aspects of other biochemical processes in plant and animal cells. Students should be able to explain how water and nutrients are transported in plants. They should be able to describe the growth process in plants.


Content: The course covers cell division, Mendelian genetics, DNA structure and gene regulation and modern gene technology.

Objectives: Students should be able to explain cell division, some of the main aspects of Mendel’s genetics, genes, chromosomes and the central principles related to the inheritance of traits. Students should be able to explain the main features of protein synthesis and the principles of cloning, as well as describe important applications for gene technology

The Body and Health

Content: The structure and function of important organ systems in the body such as the skeleton and muscles, the heart, the circulatory system and lungs, the digestive system, the immune system, the kidneys and urinary system, the nerve system and the senses, the hormone system and reproduction. In addition, an introduction to the most common life-style diseases, sexually transmitted diseases and prevention and intoxicants will be given.

Objectives: The students should be able to explain the functions of the most important organ systems in the body, and learn about the most common life-style diseases, physical changes during puberty, cohabitation and prevention and about how the body reacts to intoxicants.


Content: The course deals with chemical concepts and processes. Special emphasis will be given to chemical reactions, pH, acids and bases, classification of chemical substances and organic chemistry.

Objectives: Students will be able to explain chemical reactions and balance chemical equations. They should be able to define acids and bases, and give an account of acid-base reactions and describe the term pH. Students should know the rules for the classification of substances and be able to give an account of the basic structure and characteristics of organic substances. In addition, students should be able to plan and carry out chemical experiments and assess risk, sources of error and results.

The World from the Perspective of Physics

Content: The course starts with further study of mechanics and motion. It continues with an introduction to electromagnetism. Atomic and nuclear physics will be examined with an emphasis on radioactivity and radiation. The course will also consider the evolution of the universe.

Objectives: Students should be familiar with the principle concepts within the field of mechanics and motion in three dimensions. They should be able to apply electromagnetism principles to specific exercises. Students should acquire basic knowledge of atomic and nuclear physics and its practical applications and the consequent environmental problems that result. Students should have knowledge of the development of the universe. In their course-related work students should be able to make use of online resources.

Weather and Climate

Content: The course starts with an introduction to the atmosphere. It continues with the principle concepts within the field of weather and climate. It concludes by examining the greenhouse effect and the question of global warming.

Objectives: Students should acquire knowledge of the structure and composition of the atmosphere. They should be able to give an account of the weather, changes in weather and registration of the weather. Students should also have knowledge of climate and climate change.

Learning Methods

The subject is taught so that theory and practical work comprise a whole. Field studies in the natural environment and practical exercises provide students with experience and enjoyment of the natural surroundings, which comprises an important aspect of the subject. Part of the teaching will take place outdoors.

The teaching and learning alternates between lectures, supervision, practical assignments individually and in groups and written assignments. Attendance at the field studies and practical assignments is obligatory. Teaching at which attendance is obligatory will be specified in the semester plan at the start of each semester. During the period of practical training, students who are enrolled on the course as part of the General Teacher Education programme will gain experience in integrating natural sciences topics in the school’s daily activities. Students will gain experience in planning, arranging and implementing natural sciences’ activities in the school.

Communication with students outside the periods of teaching will take place using Classfronter.

Assessment Methods

Continuous assessment:

Assignments in Chemistry, The World from the Perspective of Physics and Weather and Climate will be assessed as approved / not approved. The assignments must be approved before the student will be permitted to take the oral examination.

The oral examination during the autumn semester in the course units Chemistry, Weather and Climate, and Human Biology counts for 40% of the final grade.

The written examination in the spring semester focuses on Biogeography, The World from the Perspective of Physics, Genetics and Cell Biology/Plant Physiology and counts for 60% of the final grade.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Ian Harkness <>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 10/10/2009