Biology

Biology

What does the course involve?

Biology at A-level covers 8 main themes;

Year 1 Year 2
1. Biological molecules 5. Energy transfers in and between organisms
2. Cells 6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments.
3. Organisms exchange substances with their Environment 7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems.
4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms 8. The control of gene expression.

The content of the course will be very detailed and you will find that many aspects of interpretation will test your analytical skills to the limit. We will help you to develop your study skills and enable you to progress through regular internal assessments.

Biology is of course a practical subject, and through regular practical work you will develop your existing skills and learn new ones. Lessons will include lessons on theoretical aspects of biology, together with activities that supports and develops your theoretical understanding.

What qualifications do I need?

A good GCSE grade in Additional Science or Biology and Chemistry (A*, A or B is recommended or the equivalent number under the new GCSE system)

Assessment

This qualification is linear. Linear means that you will sit all your exams at the end of your course.

For the A Level course you have THREE written papers:

Paper 1 assesses content from topics 1-4, including relevant practical skills.

Paper 2 assesses content from topics 5-8, including relevant practical skills.

Both written exams are 2 hours with 91 marks available (76 marks long and short answer questions, 15 marks comprehension question) each contributing to 35% of A Level qualification.

Paper 3 assesses any content from topics 1-8 including any relevant practical skills.

Written exam of 2 hours with 78 marks available (38 marks structured questions, including practical techniques, 15 marks critical analysis of given experimental data, 25 marks one essay from a choice of two titles) contributing to 30% of A level qualification.

Further details can be viewed at http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402

General Comments

Biology is a demanding course but for those willing to work hard it is an extremely rewarding subject to study. You will be given the scope to learn about some of the more topical issues in biology today.

Future Prospects

A level Biology provides a sound basis for entry into higher education, giving a good grounding for many careers in science and technology, such as medicine, the paramedic professions, Laboratory science in industry or the Health Service. Careers in conservation, research and many more areas are also options on completion of the course.