Biology is the window into the fascinating world of living organisms and the science of life. Biology covers anatomy and physiology of the human body, alongside vital issues of the Twentieth Century, including how different species interact, the importance of conservation, DNA, gene technologies and stem cell research.
Cells, exchange and transport, molecules, biodiversity, food and health are some of the key topics covered in the AS GCE Biology course. The AS assessment is a written examination, however, practical activities comprise an important part of the course.
The A2 units also include topics such as homeostasis, respiration, photosynthesis, human behaviour, biotechnology, genetics, the environment and practical research. The assessment is a written examination.
Beyond the minimum entry criteria for Level 3 learning of 5 A*-C GCSE grades, students are also expected to achieve a minimum A and B grade in GCSE Core and Additional Science or an A grade in GCSE Biology with at least a B in Physics and Chemistry. Students are also required to obtain a grade B in GCSE mathematics.
In order to be best prepared for A Level study students are expected to complete a bridging activity from GCSE to AS Level before the course commences. In lessons students are required to carry out a number of practical tasks, both in groups and independently. Students will need to reflect on their own work and evaluate others, being prepared to articulate results and conclusions. Prior reading is mandatory before each lesson and the use of the VLE is required to complete tasks and extend understanding. Extended reading and annotations of notes is also expected and students are required to regularly assess their learning against the specification.
Extra-Curricular Activities/Independent Learning Opportunities:
Further interest is in Biology is generated by extracurricular events, such as visits to hospital departments and the Biology Olympiad. Equally students have the opportunity to attend biological lectures and act as mentors or advisors through the Biology Committee.
Studying Biology at A Level can lead to careers in Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Physiology, Ecology, Pharmacology, Immunology, Biochemistry, Environmental Science, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.
Good combinations of other subject to study with Biology are:
Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Geography, Psychology.
“Biology is brilliant as you dive deeper into how living organisms work and function. It is really interesting and the teaching is the best!”
“I enjoy studying Biology as it allows me to explore my passion for the interactions between organisms and the human anatomy.”