Since doing biology it has changed the way I think and the way I see the things around me. I can now understand what’s actually going on inside my body, rather than just being able to discuss a couple of different organs.

Amy Pither-Guise

Amy Pither-Guise

Course Description

Biology is the natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy.

Entry Requirements

Achieve 5 or more standard GCSE passes or higher (grade 4 or higher).
Achieve a grade 6 or higher in combined GCSE Science or GCSE Biology.

Course Content

3.1 Biological Molecules
Students will study the biochemistry shared by all life on Earth.

3.2 Cells
Students will study the structure of different types of cells, in particular, that of the cell surface membrane and its role in cell signalling, communication, recognition and immunity.

3.3 Organisms exchange substances with their environment
Students will be studying how the internal environment of a cell or organism is different from its external environment, and how they are adapted for exchange.

3.4 Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
Students will be examining biological diversity and how differences between species reflect genetic differences.

3.5 Energy transfers in and between organisms
Students will study photosynthesis and respiration.

3.6 Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
Students study the nervous system and how responses to changes in the internal or external environment are coordinated.

3.7 Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
Students study inheritance, variation in populations and natural selection.

3.8 The control of gene expression
Students will study how cells are able to control their metabolic activities by regulating transcription and translation of their genome.

Assessment

Paper 1
Written exam: 2 hours
91 marks: 76 marks – a mixture of short and long answer questions; 15 marks – extended response questions
35% of A Level

Paper 2
Written exam: 2 hours
91 marks: 76 marks – a mixture of short and long answer questions; 15 marks – comprehensive question
35% of A Level

Paper 3
Written exam: 2 hours
78 marks: 38 marks – structured questions, including practical techniques; 15 marks – critical analysis of given experimental data; 25 marks – one essay from a choice of two titles
30% of A Level

Future Opportunities

Biology is a great choice of subject for people who want a career in health and clinical professions, such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, physiotherapy, pharmacy, optometry, nursing, zoology, marine biology or forensic science. Students could also use it for careers in research or in industry.

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