What is Biology all about?
Biology is the study of living organisms. At A Level we consider life from the molecular level right through to interactions between organisms and with their surroundings. The new A Level also includes cutting edge genetic developments.
First Year Course Content
In year one of Biology A Level we study many of the fundamental concepts needed to access the rest of the A Level course and to form a firm basis for further study in this field. The following 4 topics will be covered in year one -
- Biological molecules
- Organisms exchanging substances with their environment
- Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
Second Year Course Content
Year two in A Level Biology expands on some of the topics covered in year one and helps students to further develop their practical skills through the practical
endorsement process. The following 4 topics are covered in year two -
- Energy transfers in and between organisms
- Organisms responding to changes in their internal and external environments
- Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
- The control of gene expression
Throughout both years students will carry out 12 ‘required practicals’. Exam papers will test students' knowledge and understanding of their practical work. Students will be awarded an A Level grade based on their exams, and a 'pass' or 'fail' for practical work in lessons.
A Level Biology requires 3 exams to be sat in May/June of the second year of study, each lasting 2 hours. Papers 1 and 2 consist of short answer questions and one longer comprehension or extended response question. Paper 3 includes structured questions and one 25 mark essay question.
Future careers linked to this subject:
Biology A Level specified as a requirement or advantage for 25 different degree courses (and is valued on many more courses as an addition to these). These include Physiotherapy, Optometry, Biomedical Materials, Nursing, Archaeology, Midwifery, Earth Sciences, Geology, Geography, Medical Science, Speech Therapy, Sports Science, Psychology, Physical Education, Dietetics, Biology, Veterinary Science, Medicine, Pharmacy, Biochemistry, and Dentistry.
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