Entry requirements: GCSE grade 6 in Biology or 66 in Combined Science
There is hardly a day goes by without Biology being in the news, whether it is the effect of microplastics in our ocean biodiversity or the use of genome sequencing to develop new drugs and treatment for human diseases. If you are curious, resilient and can relate what you study in the classroom to real life, Biology at A level is a suitable subject for you to study.
Practical work is at the heart of studying Biology A Level. This will include dissections and the use of equipment such as colorimeters, plus you will develop further the skills you learned at GCSE, such as analysis and evaluation. Although practicals do not contribute towards the final grade, examination questions will be based on the wide variety of practical activities that are integrated into day to day teaching. This means that you will have more opportunities to learn and use practical skills to link theory with practice, which will deepen your knowledge and understanding.
In Year 12 you will study 4 topics:
1. Biological Molecules
3. Organisms exchange substances with their Environment
4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
In Year 13 you will study a further 4 topics:
5. Energy transfers in and between organisms
6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environment
7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
8. The Control of gene expression
At the end of Year 13, there are 3 written examinations, each are 2 hours long. Paper 1 examines content from topics 1–4 and is worth 35%, paper 2 examines content from topics 5–8 and is worth 35% and paper 3 examines content from all 8 topics and is worth 30% of the A Level. All 3 papers include questions on relevant practical skills.
A Level Biology lays the foundations for further study and careers in biological sciences, medicine and conservation. The course ensures progression from GCSE and ensures that the skills and knowledge that universities require are developed.