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Biology A level (New Linear A level) at Heaton Manor School

Course description

Biology is the study of life; how organisms interact with one another, how living things function and how they change over time. The work of biologists is to increase our understanding about the world around us and to help us address issues of personal wellbeing and worldwide concern such as environmental depletion, threats to human health and maintaining viable and abundant food supplies. Studying Biology teaches us to critically analyse evidence, question and make observations of what we see around us, as well as to try to solve problems.

Course content

The GCE A Level course has been developed to follow on directly on from the ‘double’ and ‘triple’ GCSE science courses. Biology is a popular course with both girls and boys and is widely regarded as a good entry qualification for most university courses. The course includes a number of practical sessions, designed to develop the skills necessary for progression onto science related university courses and more importantly for your development as a scientist.

There is a new Biology specification (2015 onwards). The content remains similar to previous years and below is a list of some of the content to be covered over the 2 year course:

  •  Living organisms, including plants, animals and microorganisms, interact with each other and with the non-living world.
  •  The living world can be studied at population, organism, cell and molecular levels.
  •  There are fundamental similarities as well as differences between plants, animals and microorganisms.
  •  Biodiversity
  •  Exchange and transport
  •  Cells
  •  Biological molecules
  •  Ecosystems
  •  Control systems
  •  Genetics and evolution
  •  Energy for biological processes

Entry requirements

In order to ensure that students have the necessary depth of understanding and essential knowledge and skills to be successful in A Level Biology, the entry requirements are a minimum of 2 B grades achieved in 2 of the following GCSE sciences:

• Core Science
• Additional Science
• Further Science
• Separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry or Physics).

Students must also have GCSE Maths to at least grade B standard. This is to ensure students have the mathematical ability to be able to calculate magnifications from given photomicrographs, reaction rates, ratios, percentage increases or decreases. Students will also be required to carry out statistical tests on primary experimental data using critical values and test statistics to accept or reject a Null Hypothesis.

Future opportunities

Biology is a useful science to study in that it has a vast subject breadth as well as depth and allows the student to pursue a range of specialities including Zoology, Botany Medicine, Microbiology, Ecology, Pharmacy, Genetics, Food Technology, Physiology, Optometry and Nursing.  Careers that develop from this field are immense, popular and very rewarding. Most medical degree courses require Biology as a compulsory element for course entry. Some students have even used their A Level Biology as a stepping stone to cutting edge degree courses e.g. Stem Cell Research and Genome sequencing.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Heaton Manor School directly.

Last updated date: 22 July 2016

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