Biology A Level (Block D)

Science and Mathematics

Science and Mathematics
Science and Mathematics
We are only accepting one application per candidate.

What will you be working towards?

Code 02
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time

Overview

Why choose Biology?

Biologists are scientists who study the natural world and all the living things in it, from the largest mammals down to our very own microscopic DNA.

They try to understand how animals and organisms work (including us humans), how we evolved and the things that can make us sick or improve our health.

Biologists use this knowledge to do things like try to stop the spread of disease, track down natural resources, improve public health, animal care and conservation and work out the true impacts of things like pollution.

No one can predict the future, but this much is known: the next century is the time of the biologist, who will be at the forefront of the most challenging and intellectual problems.

Biology at sixth form level is an enjoyable mixture of practical investigation and scientific enquiry including the study of ethical issues facing society in the 21st century.

 

Details

The specification is divided into topics, each covering different key concepts of Biology:

Paper 1: Core Cellular Biology and Microbiology

Topic 1 – Biological molecules

  • Carbohydrates
  • Lipids
  • Proteins
  • DNA and protein synthesis
  • Enzymes
  • Inorganic ions
  • Water        

Topic 2 – Cells, Viruses and Reproduction of Living Things

  • Eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell structure and function
  • Viruses
  • Eukaryotic cell cycle and division
  • Sexual reproduction in mammals
  • Sexual reproduction in plants

 

Paper 2: Core Physiology and Ecology


Topic 3 – Classification      

  • Classification
  • Natural selection
  • Biodiversity           

   
Topic 4 – Exchange and transport

  • Surface area to volume ratio
  • Cell transport mechanisms
  • Gas exchange
  • Circulation
  • Transport of gases in the blood
  • Transfer of materials between the circulatory system and cells
  • Transport in plants

A Level

Paper 1: Advanced Biochemistry, Microbiology and Genetics

This will cover the topics 1-4 above as well as:


Topic 5– Energy for biological processes

  • Aerobic respiration
  • Glycolysis
  • Link reaction and Krebs cycle
  • Oxidative phosphorylation
  • Anaerobic respiration
  • Photosynthetic pigments
  • Photosynthesis

 

Topic 6 – Microbiology and pathogens

  • Microbial techniques
  • Bacteria as pathogens
  • Action of antibiotics
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Other pathogenic agents
  • Problems of controlling endemic diseases
  • Response to infection

 

Topic 7 – Modern genetics

  • Using gene sequencing
  • Factors affecting gene expression
  • Stem cells
  • Gene technology

Paper 2: Advanced Physiology, Evolution and Ecology

This will cover the topics 1-4 above as well as:


Topic 8 –Origins of genetic information

  • Origins of genetic variation
  • Transfer of genetic information
  • Gene pools


Topic 9 – Control systems 

  • Homeostasis
  • Chemical control in mammals
  • Chemical control in plants
  • Structure and function of the mammalian nervous system
  • Nervous transmission
  • Effects of drugs on the nervous system
  • Detection of light by mammals
  • Control of heart rate in mammals
  • Osmoregulation and temperature regulation 

               
Topic 10 – Ecosystems

  • The nature of ecosystems
  • Energy transfer through ecosystems
  • Changes in ecosystems
  • Human effects on ecosystems

 

How will it be delivered?

In AS Biology, Modules 1–4 are assessed, all modules are assessed at A-Level. You will be required to apply your knowledge to both familiar and unfamiliar situations. Practical work is only assessed at A‑Level by the teacher as Pass/Fail, however core practicals are examined in the written papers at both AS and A level.

A minimum of 10% of the marks in both AS and A level Biology are for mathematics.

Paper 1: Core Cellular Biology and Microbiology

  • Questions draw on content from Topics 1 and 2.
  • Exam 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • 80 marks.
  • 50% of total AS Level

Paper 2: Core Physiology and Ecology

  • Questions draw on content from Topics 3 and 4.
  • Exam 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • 80 marks.
  • 50% of total AS Level

 

 

Paper 1: Advanced Biochemistry, Microbiology and Genetics

  • Topics 1–7.
  • 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • 90 marks.
  • 30% of the total qualification

 

Paper 2: Advanced Physiology, Evolution and Ecology

  • Topics 1–4 and Topics 8–10.
  • 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • 90 marks.
  • 30% of the total qualification

Paper 3: General and Practical Principles in Biology

  • Topics 1–10.
  • 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • 120 marks.
  • 40% of the total qualification

Entry requirements

A minimum of 5 subjects at A*– B (Grade 5 or higher) including GCSE Biology (Grade 6 or higher) or Combined Science (Grade 6-6 or higher). Students must also have GCSE Mathematics (Grade 6 or higher) and GCSE English Language (Grade 5 or higher).  

Your next steps...

You could take this course with other advanced level courses, which overlap with Biology such as Chemistry, Applied Science, Physics, Geography, Geology or more general subjects that may not relate to the sciences, to prepare for higher education. The course will also help you to develop the basic skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for. With further training, you could go into a job related to Biology such as a

  • Doctor,
  • Science Technician
  • Marine Biologist.
  • Medicine,
  • Pharmacy,
  • Dentistry,
  • Teaching,
  • Nursing.
  • Gene Technology,
  • Biochemical Engineering,
  • Forensic Science,
  • Psychology,
  • Physiotherapy,
  • Botany,
  • Environmental science,
  • Zoology,
  • Geology,
  • Oceanography,
  • Pharmaceuticals,
  • Genetics and research.
  • Sports Science amongst others.

You could also go straight into a job as the AS GCE is a recognised qualification that will help you to develop the basic skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for.