LINEAR A-LEVEL COURSE CONTENT
Module 1 – Development of practical skills in biology
Practical skills assessed in a written examination.
Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement
Module 2 – Foundations in biology
Cell structure, Biological molecules, Nucleotides and nucleic acids, Enzymes, Biological membranes, Cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation.
Module 3 – Exchange and transport
Exchange surfaces, Transport in animals, Transport in plants
Module 4 – Biodiversity, evolution and disease
Communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system, Biodiversity, Classification and evolution.
Module 5 – Communication, homeostasis and energy
Communication and homeostasis, Excretion as an example of homeostatic control, Neuronal communication, Hormonal communication, Plant and animal responses, Photosynthesis, Respiration
Module 6 – Genetics, evolution and ecosystems
Cellular control, Patterns of inheritance, Manipulating genomes, Cloning and biotechnology, Ecosystems, Populations and sustainability.
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT THIS SUBJECT?
Put simply, Biology is the scientific study of life: as such it encompasses the investigation of living organisms and life processes from the molecular, through cells and individual organisms to populations and whole communities of animals and plants.
WHAT SKILLS WILL I DEVELOP?
You will develop your knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures. You will also apply this knowledge in a theoretical and practical context when handling qualitative and quantitative data. In addition, you will analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence to make judgements and reach conclusions and develop and refine practical design and procedures.
WHAT MIGHT STUDYING THIS COURSE LEAD TO?
The A-Level Biology course will prepare you for rogression to undergraduate study, enabling you to enter a range of academic and vocational careers in biological sciences, medicine and biomedical sciences, veterinary science, agriculture and related sectors. It can lead to employment across a wide range of sectors including industrial research laboratories, medical communications, pharmaceutical companies, environmental consultancies and nature conservation organisations.
HOW MANY EXAMS DO I HAVE TO TAKE AND WHEN DO I TAKE THEM?
Linear A-Level: There are 3 exams totalling 6 hours of exam assessment. Biological processes (2 hours 15 minutes) assesses content from Modules 1,2,3 and 5. Biological diversity (2 hours 15 minutes) assesses content from 1,2,4 and 6, and unified biology (1 hour 30 minutes) assesses content from all modules 1-6. 10% of the marks available within written examinations will be for assessment of mathematics.
IS THERE ANY COURSEWORK OR CONTROLLED ASSESSMENTS?
A-Level biology is 100% externally assessed and there is no coursework or controlled assessments. However, you will be required to develop a range of practical skills throughout the course in preparation for the written
Students studying A-Level Biology can be awarded a Practical Endorsement in Biology. This non-exam assessment component rewards the development of practical competency for biology and is teacher assessed. Learners complete a minimum of 12 assessed experiments covering specified technical skills (together with the use of apparatus and practical techniques) and each student will keep an appropriate record of their assessed practical activities. Students who demonstrate the required standard across all the requirements of the assessment criteria will receive a ‘pass’ grade. The assessment of practical skills is a compulsory requirement of the course of study for A-Level qualifications and will appear on all students’ certificates as a separately reported result, alongside the overall grade for the qualification.