A Level Biology

Why should I study Biology?

The course aims to sustain and develop an enjoyment of, and interest in, living organisms. It will promote an awareness and appreciation of biology in personal, social, environmental, economic and technological contexts and promote the responsible use of biology in society.

Careers leading directly from A Level Biology include: medicine, physiotherapy and other paramedical careers, veterinary science, animal welfare and breeding, agriculture and genetics. It is also an important basis for degree courses in environmental science, biochemistry, psychology, biotechnology, food science and nutrition. It provides an excellent background for many other careers such as marketing and journalism - biologists are used to writing, analysing data and handling complex problems and they are familiar with statistics and have computing skills.

What will I need to study Biology?
    • An inquiring mind and a fascination with the living world around you
    • An interest in living organisms and how they are adapted to their environments
    • An interest in Chemistry and an understanding of the importance of biochemistry in modern biology
    • It is vital that you have achieved at least an A grade in GCSE Biology (or an A grade equivalent in the Biology component of the Science & Additional Science GCSE)

    Structure and Outline of the course:

    This is a new A Level course, consisting of six modules, taught over two years. The first four modules will be taught in Year 12 and learners continue in Year 13 with the content of modules 5 and 6. The A Level requires a more mature approach to tasks and the ability to apply knowledge, understanding and other skills developed throughout the course to novel or unfamiliar situations.

    Module 1 is focused on the practical skills required for investigating Biological systems, and is embedded throughout the other modules.

    Module 2 takes a microscopic view of organisms, investigating the Biochemistry of life and the organisation of cells.

    Module 3 explores how living things gain the materials they need for life processes and transport them around their bodies.

    Module 4 reviews the diversity of life on Earth, how it has been shaped by evolution, and our own body’s defence against disease as a case study of adaptation.

    Module 5 identifies the processes by which multicellular organisms maintain their internal environment, and the coordination systems that allow the products of photosynthesis and respiration to be kept in balance.

    Module 6 provides a holistic overview of living systems from the level of the gene to the study of population dynamics.

    Method of Assessment:

    The course content will be examined by written examinations at the end of the course. Practical skills will be assessed internally by teachers and reported separately from the course grade.

    Student Comments:

    “You cover a broad range of topics, from biochemistry to ecology, and you get to go to Wales.”

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