Biology 6th 02Course Outline

The Biology B specification is a concept-based course that combines the teaching of traditional elements and more modern biological ideas. The course has been designed to engage and inspire students by showing how an understanding of many contemporary issues requires a grasp of fundamental biological ideas. 

Students will study a wide range of living things with an emphasis on the biochemistry of biological processes. Some of the topics covered include inheritance, evolution, cell structure, transport in animals and plants, photosynthesis, respiration, nervous system, hormones and infectious diseases.

Studies include theory work, laboratory investigations, ecology fieldwork and microscopy. A strong emphasis is placed on developing practical skills and understanding the process of how science works. This is assessed through written examination papers rather than coursework or a separate practical exam at the end of the course. The course also offers Practical Endorsement leading to practical competency as an addition to the A level.

Entrance requirements and skills needed

biologyboy2Students should have a keen interest in Biology, an enquiring mind, together with the ability and willingness to carry out independent background research. Biology at A-Level could be essential if you want a career in health and clinical professions.


Biology A level 01Assessments - Edexcel qualification

AS after one year

Paper 1: Biological molecules; Cells, viruses and reproduction of living things

Paper 2: Classification and biodiversity, Exchange and transport.

Paper 1 and 2 carry 50% of the weighting each.

A Level after two years

Paper 1: Energy for biological processes, Microbiology and pathogens and Modern genetics.

Paper 2: Origins of genetic variation, Control systems and Ecosystems.

Paper 3: General paper assessing topics across the AS andA level qualifications

Paper 1 and 2 will carry 30% of the weighting and paper 3 the remaining 40%.

All AS and A Level papers will include assessment of experimental methods (including questions on core practicals) and mathematical skills, the latter making up 10% of the assessment. There are 16 core practicals that cover all of the 12 techniques required for the practical competency measure. This will be teacher assessed and reported alongside the A level grade.


Why study Biology?

pharmacist2Biology is a diverse subject – from molecular biology to the biosphere, a qualification in Biology equips you with valuable skills: literacy, numeracy, social awareness and an ability to make connections between natural, social, economic, political and technological fields.

A-level Biology provides a useful complement to other subjects including other Sciences, Sports studies and Maths. It provides a firm foundation for a whole range of careers such as: Biochemistry, Dentistry, Ecology, Forensic science, Genetics, Medicine, Microbiology, Nursing, Pathology, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Veterinary medicine and many others.

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