Biology AS & A2 at Feltham Community College (School)
What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course? This course builds on the knowledge and understanding of GCSE Double Award Science or GCSE Biology. It is expected that you will have achieved a GCSE Grade C or above in one of those subjects. If you have taken GCSE Biology, it would be helpful to have also followed GCSE courses in Chemistry and Physics. During the course you will need to be able to communicate effectively and research information from a variety of sources. During the course you will also be expected to handle and interpret data, so it would be helpful for you to have, or to be working towards, a Grade C in GCSE Mathematics. What will I learn on this Advanced GCE course? During the course you will have opportunities to: *develop greater understanding of biological facts together with an appreciation of their significance in new and changing situations *develop greater expertise in the area of practical work and the link between theory and experimental work *continue to enjoy a personal interest in the study of living organisms *recognise the responsible use of biology in society *develop a deeper awareness of biology in the changing world and its importance in the new millennium What kind of student is this course suitable for? This course will appeal to students who: *have an interest in the study of living organisms *enjoy carrying out investigations in the laboratory or as fieldwork *are interested in the developments of 'new' biology topics, such as genetic engineering, and their impact on society *are looking towards careers in the health related professions, biotechnology or ecology and the environment *want to use biology to support other qualifications such as Advanced GCE Geography and *Advanced GNVQ Health and Social Care *Edexcel Foundation 2000 - Issue 2 Page 2 of 4 What examinations will I have to take to get my qualification? AS AS is short for Advanced Subsidiary. This is the first half of the Advanced GCE course. It is a stepping-stone to the full Advanced GCE qualification. You can take just the AS on its own, if you and your teacher agree that this is best for you, or you can decide at the end of the AS course to continue to take the full Advanced GCE qualification. An AS course consists of three assessment units. Unit 1: Molecules and cells This unit includes: *cells and organelles as displayed by an electron microscope *molecules including the structure of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids *enzymes, details of their structure an action within living organisms *chromosomes and the role of DNA in the genetic code *protein synthesis in cells DNA synthesis in cells. This unit will be assessed by a written test lasting 1hour 20minutes. Units 2B: Exchange, transport and reproduction and 2H: Exchange, transport and reproduction in humans These units contain similar topics for students studying Biology and Biology (Human). The main difference is that Unit 2H is set in the context of human biology. The units include: *exchanges with the environment (2B and 2H) *gas exchange in plants and animals (2B) or in humans (2H) *transport in flowering plants and animals (2B) or in humans (2H) *adaptation to the environment (2B and 2H) *sexual reproduction in plants and animals (2B) or in humans (2H) *placental development and birth (2B and 2H). This unit will be assessed by a written test lasting 1hour 20minutes. Unit 3: Energy and the environment There are two parts to this unit: Part (a)-this includes the following topics; human nutrition; energy flow through ecosystems;recycling of nutrients; energy resources; human influences on the environment. This part of the unit will be assessed by a written test lasting 1hour. Part (b)-one practical investigation to be teacher assessed and moderated by Edexcel. This will be a progression from the work at GCSE. The same four skill areas of planning, implementing,analysing evidence and evaluating the investigation will be assessed. *Edexcel Foundation 2000 - Issue 2 Page 3 of 4 Advanced GCE The full Advanced GCE qualification is made up of the AS units plus three more units. You don't necessarily have to take the full Advanced GCE qualification; you can still get a certificate just for the AS, and your teacher will advise you on what is best. If you do decide to take the second half of the course it will cover the three units described below. The second half of the course is sometimes called A2. Unit 4: Respiration and co-ordination and Options Core material - this includes respiration and co-ordination in living organisms. Options You will select one option from the following: *Microbiology and Biotechnology *Diversity of microorganisms; culture techniques; use of microorganisms in biotechnology. *Food Science *Food and diet; food additives; food storage; biotechnology and food production. Human Health and Fitness Body systems; exercise physiology; human disorders. This unit will be assessed by a written test lasting 1hour 30minutes. Units 5B: Genetics, evolution and biodiversity and 5H: Genetics, human evolution and biodiversity These units contain similar topics for students studying Biology and Biology (Human). The main *difference is that Unit 5H is set in the context of human biology.The topics are: *patterns of inheritance; continuity of species and apeciation *diversity and classification of organisms *succession and stability in ecosystems photosynthesis (5B) only. This unit will be assessed by a written test lasting 1hour 30 minutes. Please note that some of the questions in the written test will be on unit 5 topics only, other questions will cover topics from other units and give you a chance to show you can link them together. (These questions form part of the synoptic assessment). Unit 6: Synoptic and practical assessment There are two parts to this unit. Part (a) will be devoted to part of the synoptic assessment. This will be assessed by a written test lasting 1hour 10minutes. The questions will cover topics you have met in the AS and Advanced GCE units and give you a chance to show you can link them together. This test will be taken at the end of the course. Part (b) will be an individual study or a written alternative test. The individual study will be in an area in which you are interested and wish to explore further. The skills you developed in the AS investigation will provide the background to build on in terms of planning, implementing, analysing evidence and evaluating the study. You can choose to take a written alternative test lasting 1hour 20minutes instead of doing the individual study if you and your teacher think this would be better for you.How can I develop my full level of skills by doing this course? As well as covering advanced study of Biology and Biology (Human) this course will enable you to develop some Key Skills, which will be essential to you whatever you go on to do afterwards. The Key Skills you can develop during this course are: Communication *Taking part in discussions on issues such as pollution *Preparing written documents for your practical work *Using reference materials from books, CD-ROM and the Internet *Application of Number *Planning to collect results from experiments and presenting them in a suitable format *Carrying out calculations on the data collected in experiments *Interpreting the results from experiments and seeing how this relates to your plan *Information Technology *Using word-processing software to present written reports and prepare presentations *Planning and designing a spreadsheet to support your experiments, being able to select a *suitable graphical format to show trends and patterns in your data *Problem Solving *Planning an ecological investigation to look at the distribution of plants and animals *Trying out different techniques to extract pigments from plant tissues *Working With Others *Planning an investigation in a fieldwork study to involve all members of the group *Presenting a poster to explain the findings from a survey on local conservation issues *Improving Own Learning and Performance * Working out a timetable with targets to improve your practical skills * Monitoring the marks awarded for written reports
NoWhat could I go on to do at the end of my course? * Follow a degree course in, for example, biology, environmental science, medicine, nursing,dentistry, psychology and pharmacy. UCAS handbooks will give you further guidance about the wide range of courses to which you can progress. * Enter a higher national course in biological science or a related programme *Take up employment in one of many related employment areas, for example pharmacy, biotechnology, catering or land management.
To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Feltham Community College (School) directly.