A Level Biology
Biology is the study of living organisms and how these interact with each other and their environments. It involves the study of a wide range of exciting topics, ranging from molecular biology to the study of ecosystems and from microorganisms to mammoths.
We have sequenced the human genome and we know the complete arrangement of the three thousand million bases that make up human DNA. In Kenya, 350 people die every day from AIDS and in South East Asia the skies are dark with smoke as the last Bornean rainforests are burned to grow oil palms. Biologists are concerned with all these issues. They work in the fields of cell biology, medicine, food production and ecology... and the work they do is vital to us all.
Biology students will need to have an interest in the living world around us. They should be someone who is willing to take charge of their own learning and are able to apply their knowledge to unknown situations.
The Biology Specification is made up of eight compulsory units:
1. Biological molecules
3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment
4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
5. Energy transfers in and between organisms
6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
8. The control of gene expression
Along with development of practical skills in biology, where students complete a series of experiments and investigations throughout the year in the lab and have the opportunity to go on an ecology residential fieldtrip to Devon.
Careers in medicine and medically-related disciplines, such as pharmacy or pharmacology, medical genetics, virology, parasitology, immunology, and medical microbiology, all require knowledge of Biology. Biology is an important component for most psychology degrees, owing to cognitive and abnormal psychology components. Biology is also important if someone wants to become a forensic scientist, ecologist or biomedical technical scientist. Furthermore, the subject is relevant for those who wish to study radiography or operate CT or fMRI scanners in a clinical setting. In short, the subject of biology is important as the basis for a wide range of biologically and medically-related careers and provides students with a balance of skill sets including, the scientific method, observation, data analysis and statistics, and understanding correlations and causal relationships.
2 x two-hour written exams, each worth 35% of total A Level
1 x two-hour written exam worth 30% of total A Level
There are also practical skill assessments throughout the course.
Minimum Required GCSE Grade - Subject specific
- Biology: 6 / Combined Science: 6-6
- Mathematics: 6
- English Language: 5