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Biology

 

 

Why study Biology?

The aims of the course are to encourage you to develop a deeper understanding of different areas of Biology and how they relate to each other. It will also encourage you to develop your interest and enthusiasm for Biology to prepare you for further study and possible careers in many different fields. As with the other sciences, Biology helps you to build up research, problem solving, organisation and analytical skills. If you study Biology, you will likely find yourself working on group projects, which will help you build your teamwork and communication skills. You will also appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy.

What skills are required?

Biology requires a wide range of skills which you will develop over the course. This includes the ability to plan practical work, carry out practical tasks according to precise instructions and evaluate secondary sources of data. However, in order to do well you must already have a good background in all GCSE sciences. There is no requirement to have done Triple Science. You also need Level 6 Maths, due to the level of mathematical difficulty.
You must be able to work independently and be self-motivated.

Course Content

In the first year students will study:

  • Biological molecules
  • Cells
  • How organisms exchange substances with their environment
  • Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

During the first year, there are six required practical experiments that must be taken in class, which will provide evidence towards a practical endorsement.

In the second year students will build on Year 1 knowledge and study:

  • Energy transfers in and between organisms
  • How organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  • Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  • The control of gene expression

During the second year a further six required practical experiments must be undertaken to complete the practical endorsement.

How will it be assessed?

Paper 1: Topics 1-4 including relevant practical skills

  • 1½ hours
  • 91 marks
  • 35% of A level

Paper 2: Topics 5-8 including relevant practical skills

  • 1½ hours
  • 91 marks
  • 35% of A level

Paper 3: Any content from topics 1-8 including relevant practical skills, critical analysis & synoptic essay

  • 1½ hours
  • 78 marks
  • 30% of A level

Progression

Biology is a facilitating A level. Students who have taken an AQA A level in Biology have gone on to study for degrees and careers in:


Biology, Biochemistry, Environmental Science, Forensic Science, Journalism, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing, Paramedic Science, Sports Science, Zoology, Neuroscience, Pharmacy.

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