Biology A Level

Level 3

Qualification A Level

Duration 2 years

What will I study?

Development of Practical Skills

This covers the skills of planning, implementing, analysis and evaluation through a series of class practicals, and field-work to prepare students for future careers and higher level study in Science.

Foundations in Biology

This module prepares students for A level study in biology. Topics covered include, cell structure, biological molecules, including DNA and enzymes, followed by the study of biological membranes, cell division, cell diversity and organisation of living organisms. All topics in this module will be covered in specific detail in later modules.

Exchange and transport

This module covers the structure and function of the gas exchange system in mammals, fish and insects, followed by animal transport systems, which link to modules covered in sports studies. The module is completed by plant transport, in which students study plant structure, the role of xylem and phloem and plants have evolved to survive in extreme environments.

Biodiversity, evolution and disease

You will study communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system. This is particularly relevant for the large numbers of students who follow a career in health care. The unit concludes with biodiversity, classification and evolution. Students investigate the problems facing the wide variety of species on the planet, how they evolve to cope with a changing environment, the role of zoos in conservation and how modern techniques are being used to assist in the classification of current and new species.

Communication, homeostasis and energy

This is a module based upon the anatomy and physiology of the body, it covers excretion as an example of homeostatic control, the nervous and endocrine systems, plant and animal responses to environmental change, followed by photosynthesis and respiration. In addition to preparing students for a career in healthcare, it is useful for future sports related careers.

Genetics, evolution and ecosystems

You will study the control of cellular activities such as protein synthesis and enzyme activation, the fascinating world of genetics, including genetic disorders. This is followed by genome manipulation, cloning and biotechnology to help with disease prevention and treatment and the manufacture of useful products. This is followed by ecosystems, populations and conservation through sustainability. Students take a global outlook of the world around them and how human activity can by modified to preserve ecosystems. This module links to the International Conservation trip to South Africa.
Study Visits

Field-work and biodiversity / conservation trips to the Zoo / wildlife parks and the Natural History Museum.

All biology students are invited to join an international conservation trip to South Africa in July based in Kruger National Park and Sodwana Bay Marine Nature Reserve.

Cost

No more than £25 per day trip.

Assessment

Three written examinations.
Practical endorsement.

Entry Criteria

Minimum average GCSE score required 5. GCSE Science 6,6 (with a 6 in Biology if taken separately.) Grade 5 Maths.

Useful Supporting Courses

This course links very well with all other sciences, including geology, psychology, maths, health and social care and PE.

Careers:

Veterinary medicine, medicine, dentistry, optometry, biology, zoology, ecology, animal science, marine biology, life sciences, zookeeper, animal care, veterinary nursing, pharmacy, pharmacology, physiotherapy, sports science, ecology, forensic science, genetics, biochemistry, biotechnology, biological/environmental/biomedical engineering, paramedic, midwifery, nursing, microbiology, botany, animal behaviour and wildlife conservation.

Culture Vulture

Check out our Culture Vulture link to see what takes your interest.

Biology Culture Vulture

 

Flying start

Click the link and have a go at our 10-week learning plan to get you off to the best start.

Biology Flying Start

Course Overview

Follow the link to see an introduction to the course, identifying what you will study with us in the first few months and what you might already know.

Biology course overview