Subject Information

A-level Biology is a challenging, rewarding course that helps students develop skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career.  Biology is the study of life, it applies to everyone and it holds the key to unlocking the answers to all the big questions in society today.  The A-level Biology course has been developed with universities, research institutions, medical schools and industry to ensure it is relevant, up-to-date and develops the skills students will require.

In the first year of study students build on what they have learned at GCSE to develop a deeper understanding of the structure and function of the human body and the role of humans in the environment.  Students study the underlying principles and key features in the topics – Biological Molecules, Cells, Exchange and Transport Systems and Biodiversity.

In the second year of study students further develop their knowledge of organisms and their interaction with the environment.  Students will build on what they have leaned previously and learn to apply their knowledge to real world contexts.  Students will study in detail the topics of – Energy transfers in and between organisms, how organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environment, genetics populations and evolution systems and the Control of gene expression.

Biology is an experimental subject and the course provides many opportunities to use practical experience to link theory to reality, and to equip students with the essential practical skills they need.  Students will complete a ‘Practical Skills Endorsement’ throughout the course which requires them to complete 12 required practicals and achieve five practical competencies.  Students will complete six required practicals in each year of study.

Year 12 Units:

·         Biological Molecules

·         Cells

·         Exchange and Transport

·         Biodiversity

Year 13 Units:

·         Energy transfers in and between organisms

·         Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environment

·         Genetics, populations and evolution systems

·         Control of gene expression

Assessment

Paper 1
2hrs 91marks (35%)
Paper 2
2hrs 91marks (35%)
Paper 3
2hrs 78marks (30%)
Content

·         Biological Molecules

·         Cells

·         Exchange and Transport

·         Biodiversity

Content

·         Energy transfers in and between organisms

·         Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environment

·         Genetics, populations and evolution systems

·         Control of gene expression

 

 

Content

·         All topics

·         All practical skills

·         Essay

Questions

·         76 marks – short and long answer questions

·         10% Maths Skills

·         15 marks extended response questions

Questions

·         76 marks – short and long answer questions

·         10% Maths Skills

·         15 marks comprehension question

Questions

·         38 marks – structured questions, including practical techniques

·         15 marks – critical analysis of experimental data

·         25 marks one essay from a choice of two titles

Practical Skills Endorsement – complete 12 required practicals and achieve five practical competencies in order to achieve this additional qualification.

Career Opportunities

A-level Biology teaches a range of key skills including: how to collect data and evaluate it, how to investigate facts and use deduction, how to express ideas and opinions effectively and how to take responsibility for your own learning. These skills are invaluable in all areas of life and further study.

A-level Biology is an essential qualification for students wishing to study degree courses in Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedicine, Ecology, Genetics, Microbiology, Physiology and Plant Biology. It is also a very beneficial qualification for a variety of courses and jobs including Medicine, Veterinary Science, Nursing, Environmental Studies, Food and Nutrition and General Laboratory Work.

Further Information

Please see:
Ms Chambers (Head of Biology)
Miss Lawson
Mr Warren
Mrs West