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Biology A Level

AS/A Level Biology

Introduction

Biology A level offers the opportunity to study a dynamic and challenging subject, which explores the molecular mechanisms of our cells and the inner functions of living organisms and their impact on our planet. You need to have a passion for biology and be able to work with skill and maturity during practical investigations. Biology can be a good choice with subjects such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, psychology, geography and sports science. It develops practical and team-working skills; the ability to apply a wide range of principles to novel situations; the skills to analyse complex, often abstract concepts effectively. It is valuable for those thinking of degrees and careers in a large range of areas including agriculture, medicine, nursing, biochemistry, environmental health, biotechnology and veterinary sciences.

Entry Requirements

A minimum Grade B in core science and additional science is required. To be successful you need to become an independent learner by developing your knowledge beyond the classroom, assimilating ideas from a range of sources. Self-motivation and enthusiasm are a must!

Course Outline

You will study 4 units in the first year entitled Development of practical skills, Foundations in Biology, Exchange and Transport and Communications, Homeostasis and Energy. As part of these units, the structure, functioning and division of cells are studied, followed by the organisation of cells into tissues and ultimately organisms. A range of plants and animals is considered so that, by the end of the course, variety is appreciated as well as detailed understanding of certain specific examples. In the second year the units studied will be Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease and Genetics, Evolution and Ecosystems. The teaching is shared between 2 teachers.

Assessment

Assessment for AS is by examinations which will also include questions on practical skills. In the second year the A2 will be assessed by 3 examination papers in June and a teacher assessed Practical Endorsement which will take place throughout the year.

General Information about the Course

Prospective students attending Taster Day will be given a modelling exercise to research, design and present over the summer holidays. They will also be expected to review their GCSE notes thoroughly.