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Through Project 2000 preregistration nursing courses it was intended to establish a broad knowledge base for nurse education This is likely to affect the way biological sciences are viewed as subjects within the curriculum The aim of this study was to investigate the status of biological sciences in the curriculum following educational reform A small-scale, descriptive study was undertaken investigating one institution Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered using a postal questionnaire, this was complemented by contextual information obtained from documents Findings indicated that there was a lack of consensus amongst teachers regarding what emphasis should be given to different subjects within the curriculum It was commented that ‘nursing’ may have been displaced by pure subject disciplines, and that application of biological theory to practice was inadequate Biological sciences, social sciences and behavioural sciences were allotted equal hours in the curriculum, concern was expressed, however, that there was insufficient time available for some subjects This appeared to foster competition and tension, in particular between proponents of biological and social sciences Teachers demonstrated subject loyalty, and promoted their own discipline within the curriculum In an attempt to explain findings a conceptual framework based upon the sociology of knowledge and conflicts and tensions between groups within a profession was employed Issues identified in the study suggest that there is cause for concern with respect to the structuring, teaching and learning of biological concepts, and their application to nursing practice