Science – Biology

How long does it last? Two years
Click here for a link to the Exam Board Specification

Students who take this course:
Students will have a minimum of a Grade 6 in GCSE Biology or Grades 6-6 in GCSE Combined Science and have enjoyed the GCSE course. Students who have studied Combined Science at GCSE must be prepared to complete additional preparation work over the summer holidays in preparation to start the A Level. Due to the data handling, graph work and statistics content within the course there is a minimum requirement of a Grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics. Written communication is also important and you’ll need to be a strong writer, preferably with at least Grade 6 in GCSE English as well.

By studying Biology at A Level you will be equipped to pursue a multitude of careers, such as medicine, dentistry, biochemistry, veterinary science, physiotherapy and life sciences. It is an enabling A Level for any university course.

Course Description:
This course looks at many aspects of Biology, from cells, their structure and functions to organs and systems. There is a mixture of animal and plant biology, ecology with field work and applications of Biology in the modern world, such as genetic engineering and forensic biology. Students will develop their scientific knowledge and skills in data handling, graph work and statistics. Practical work will include microscopic examination of specimens and a range of scientific techniques. There will also be a compulsory residential field course at the end of the first year.

The qualification is linear, meaning that students will sit all the A Level exams at the end of their A Level course.

A Level Biology Subject content and assessments
Unit 1: Biological molecules
Unit 2: Cells
Unit 3: Organisms exchange substances with their environment
Unit 4: Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
Unit 5: Energy transfers in and between organisms
Unit 6: Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
Unit 7: Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
Unit 8: The control of gene expression

Paper 1: Any content from Units 1-4, including relevant practical skills.
Written exam 2hrs. 91 marks. 35% of A Level Biology.

Paper 2: Any content from Units 5-8, including relevant practical skills.
Written exam 2hrs. 91 marks. 35% of A Level Biology.

Paper 3: Any content from Units 1-8, including relevant practical skills.
Written exam 2hrs. 78 marks (including 25 marks: one essay from a choice of two titles). 30% of A Level Biology.