Biology

Biology

Biology

Why study this course?

By studying biology at A Level you will learn to understand the living world, to sense the wonder of evolution, to catch the excitement of genetic engineering, to think independently, to challenge widely-held beliefs, to appreciate the delicate ecological balance that sustains life on Earth, and to answer fundamental questions like "what is life?" If you enjoyed biology at GCSE, and would like to delve into it in more depth, then A Level biology is the course for you.

How is the course structured?

AS

  • BIOL 1 - Biology and Disease - 1 Hour 15 Minute Written Paper
  • BIOL 2 - The Variety of Living Organisms - 1 Hour 45 Minute Written Paper
  • BIO3T - Investigative and Practical Skills - Supervised Task (Centre Assessed Unit)

A2  

  • BIOL 4 - Populations and Environment - 1 Hour 30 Minute Written Paper
  • BIOL 5 - Control in Cells and in Organisms - 2 Hours 15 Minute Written Paper
  • BIO6T - Investigative and Practical Skills - Supervised Task (Centre Assessed Unit)

What are the entry requirements?

It is recommended that students who take this subject at A level have had previous experience in GCSE Additional Science or GCSE Biology with a grade B in either.

Which other subjects link well with Biology?

Many Biology students have opted for Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics. However, our Biologists have succeeded whilst studying a huge range of other courses including modern languages, history and art.

What career paths would this course lead to?

Previous students have gone on to study: medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, radiography, nursing, chiropody, psychology, forensic science, archaeology, marine biology, biological science, ecology, sports studies, biochemistry, accountancy and even teacher training! Don't worry if you don't yet know what you want to do. A Level Biology provides a useful background to a wide variety of further and higher education courses.

What specific skills will I learn?

You will cover a broad range of biology theories and principles, including lifestyle, transport, genes and health, plants and the environment, research skills, the natural environment and species survival, energy, exercise and co-ordination and practical biology and investigative skills.

You will leave the A Level Biology course with a broad range of knowledge of how living systems work, including the principles of genetics, molecules, taxonomy, natural selection, evolutionary theory, global warming, bacteria and viruses, amongst others. In addition you will learn:

  • Problem solving and working to briefs
  • You will learn numeracy skills to work out the answers to mathematical problems
  • You will learn literacy skills to describe and explain intricate behaviours
  • You will learn a huge range of practical skills in order to carry out subtle investigations with hazardous chemicals
  • You will learn to ask questions and probe into explanations, in order to put scientific theories to the test 

The skills that you develop while studying Biology mean that you can do a whole range of other jobs as well, such as management, sales and marketing, ICT and finance.

What Extra Opportunities are available?

In the science department at Key Stage 5, we are very keen to recruit students into our exciting new Gifted and
Talented Science Club. This year, we have constructed an electronic lie detector that works by detecting miniscule variations in the electrical conductivity of the skin. We are presently working on a large scale ‘mock clinical trial', to see if our contraption works!

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