What does the course involve?
This Biology course aims to develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other, develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods, develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills, develop students’ interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject and understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.
How will you learn?
Much of the course is taught but students will also carry out practical work, exam questions and presentations. Students’ independent study will therefore focus on consolidation of the work covered and preparation for future lessons.
What will you learn?
AS level: cell structure, biological molecules, enzymes, cellular transport, cell division and organisation, exchange and transport, disease and immunity, biodiversity, classification and evolution,
A level: cell structure, biological molecules, enzymes, cellular transport, cell division and organisation, exchange and transport, disease and immunity, biodiversity, classification and evolution, homeostasis, excretion, neuronal communication, hormonal communication, plant and animal responses, photosynthesis, respiration, cellular control, patterns of inheritance, manipulating genomes, cloning and biotechnology, ecosystems, populations and sustainability
What exams and coursework are involved?
For AS level Biology there are two papers which each test the entirety of the AS course, with each being equally weighted.
For the A level Biology there are three papers. The first two each contribute 37% each and cover aspects of the first and second year of the course. The final exam makes up 26% of the final grade, and covers all material from both years of the course.
The Biology A level, but not the AS, requires students to have carried out a minimum of 12 practical activities which will contribute towards the Practical Endorsement, a separate grading to the exam grade, with either a ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’. In both the AS and A level understanding of practical skills will be tested in the exams and make up 15% of the marks.
At both AS and A2 the questions papers also assess mathematical skills, which will make up 10% of the marks.
What are the entry requirements?
B in Biology or BB in Double Science. 6 in GCSE Mathematics is needed; it is also recommended that students continue with some form of Mathematics eg. Level 3 Core Maths if not taking Mathematics. Please note that GCSE Applied Science is not suitable for entry to Science A level. A 6 in Statistics will also be considered in place of a 6 in Maths, as long as a candidate has at least a 5 in Maths.
What could you do after completing the course?
Widely respected by universities Biology can act as a stepping stone towards: physiotherapy, medicine, teaching, research, forensics, environmental work, marine biology, sports therapy, pharmacology, nursing, conservation, dentistry, veterinary, microbiology, science journalism, genetics, biochemistry, speech therapy, horticulture, agriculture and more!