Biology

Contact Teacher: Mr G King, Head of Science Faculty

Exam Board: AQA

Why study Biology?

Knowledge of Biology is fundamental to understanding ourselves, our environment and the interrelations between all the living organisms within it. Biology is the fastest growing of the sciences, with many of the problems we face as a society requiring a biological solution, ranging from the destruction of the rainforest to the treatment of inherited disease. The importance of the biological sciences in the modern world is reflected in the large number of places and the wide range of courses available for further study at university such as medicine, biotechnology, food production and environmental protection. In addition the skills you will learn and develop whilst studying biology will also be beneficial to you when you enter the world of work in any field. These valuable skills include; research skills, investigative skills and critical analysis.

Course details

Core content:

Topics 1-4: Biological molecules; Cells; Organisms exchange substances with their environment; Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

Topics 5-8: Energy transfers in and between organisms; Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments; Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems; the control of gene expression

How the course is taught and assessed

The A-level course is taught by a team of two teachers who split the specification between them, as recommended by the exam board. Each module is taught sequentially i.e. both teachers start with unit 1, followed by unit 2 and so on.

Paper 1
What’s assessed? - Any content from topics 1–4, including relevant practical skills
Written exam: 2 hours (91 marks 35% of A-level)

Paper 2
What’s assessed? - Any content from topics 5–8, including relevant practical skills
Written exam: 2 hours (91 marks 35% of A-level)

Paper 3
What’s assessed? - Any content from topics 1–8, including relevant practical skills
Written exam: 2 hours (78 marks 30% of A-level)

Entry requirements

You will be expected to have completed the double or triple science courses and achieved grade 6’s or better and be reasonably confident with figures having achieved at least a grade 6 in GCSE Maths. Good communication skills are important. If you wish to pursue some of the biological sciences at university you will need to take A-level Chemistry as well.