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Biology A Level at St Bede's Catholic Comprehensive School and Byron College

Course description

Biology literally means ‘the study of life’. Biology examines the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and distribution of living things. The course includes studies at the molecular level, through to the cellular level, on to whole organisms and finally ecology, investigating organisms’ interactions with their environment.

Saving threatened species, feeding people, genetically modified organisms, stem cell research, and curing diseases - the 21st Century offers many challenges to a biologist.

Biological knowledge is increasing at a prodigious rate. Studying Biology gives you the skills and opportunities to advance human knowledge and understanding in today’s world, in order to make a difference to tomorrow’s world.

Course content

1 – Biological molecules
2 – Cells
3 – Organisms exchange substances with their environment
4 – Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
5 – Energy transfers in and between organisms (A Level only)
6 – Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments (A Level only)
7 – Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems (A Level only)
8 – The control of gene expression (A Level only)

Entry requirements

Students who wish to study this subject must have acquired a minimum of 5 GCSEs or equivalent at A* - C, including English Language and Maths at B or above and at least a Grade B in Core and Additional Science (or Biology) GCSE.

Assessment

AS Level:

2 x 90 minutes written papers assessing any content from topics 1 – 4 including relevant practical skills. The AS level is a stand-alone qualification – it does not contribute marks to the A level. It is designed as a one year course – students would be expected to sit the exams at the end of Year 12.

A Level:

1 x 2 hours paper assessing any content from topics 1 – 4 including relevant practical skills.

1 x 2 hour paper assessing any content from topics 5 – 8 including relevant practical skills.

1 x 2 hour paper assessing any content from topics 1 – 8 including relevant practical skills. The A level is designed as a two year course – students would be expected to sit all of the exams at the end of Year 13.

Future opportunities

Whether you decide to go on to work in a hospital, laboratory, courtroom, ocean, zoo, classroom, TV Studio, boardroom or industry (to name a few), you can make a contribution as a biologist. A background in biology gives you transferable skills and increases your career options. Biology is always relevant to life! Biology combines well with other sciences such as Chemistry and Physics. The following also have close links: Physical Education, Geography, Psychology, Mathematics and Health and Social Care. However many students study Biology alongside completely unrelated subjects.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Bede's Catholic Comprehensive School and Byron College directly.

Last updated date: 02 March 2017

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