Science – Biology


How long does it last? Two years for A Level, one year for AS Level.
Course Codes: AQA Biology AS: 7401 / A-level: 7402
Exam Board Specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402

Students who take this course:
Students will have a minimum of a Grade B in GCSE Biology or BB in GCSE Core and Additional Science and have enjoyed the GCSE course. There is also a minimum requirement of a grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics.

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.

These qualifications are both linear. Linear means that students opting to complete an AS Level will sit all the AS exams at the end of their AS course and those opting for the full A Level will sit all the A Level exams at the end of their A Level course.

AS 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

Paper 1: Any content from Units 1-4, including relevant practical skills.
Written exam 1hr 30mins. 75 marks. 50% of AS Biology.

Paper 2: Any content from Units 1-4, including relevant practical skills.
Written exam 1hr 30mins. 75 marks. 50% of AS Biology.

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. 30% of A Level Biology.