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Biology A-Level at The Chalfonts Community College

Course description

The new AS and A level specifications introduce biological concepts in highly transferable areas, such as developmental and neurobiology. The new A-level will be a linear qualification with all assessments taking place at the end of the course. AS level Biology will still exist but as a standalone qualification.

The course is split into 8 topics: Topics 1, 2, 3 and 4 constituting the stand-alone AS level qualification; topics 1 to 8 and a pre-release article paper, combined with the Practical endorsement, constitute the full a level. Practical skills are integrated with the theoretical topics and there is a greater emphasis on practical work as a means to develop understanding of key concepts and to improve laboratory skills.

Course content

What will I do on this course and how will I be assessed?

AS Level
Paper 1 - 1 hour 30 minutes
50% of AS
Covers Topics 1 and 2 (Lifestyle, Health and Risk & Genes and Health), plus questions on core practicals

Paper 2 - 1 hour 30 minutes
50% of AS
Covers Topics 3 and 4 (Voice of the Genome & Biodiversity and Natural Resources), plus questions on the core practicals

A2 Level
Paper 1 - 2 hours
33% of A Level
Covers Topics 5 and 6 (On the wild Side & Immunity, Infection and Forensics, plus AS topics; includes questions on Core practicals

Paper 2 - 2 hours
33% of A Level
Covers Topics 7 and 8 (Run for your Life & Grey Matter), plus AS topics; includes questions on Core practicals

Paper 3 - 2 hours
33% of A Level
Covers all Topics; includes questions on Core practicals and pre-release paper

What has changed?

At AS level:

  • Three hours of AS examination time
  • Both papers have equal weighting
  • AS no longer counts towards the A-level
  • Practical work to be assessed through questions in written examination papers
  • There is no coursework

At A level:

  • Three mandatory papers plus a Practical endorsement
  • Six hours of A-level examination time
  • Practical work to be assessed through questions in written examination papers
  • 10% of the question paper assessment covers mathematical skills
  • Practical Endorsement doesn’t count towards the A level but is reported alongside it.
  • There is no coursework

Entry requirements

What do I need to get on to this course?

Students will need to achieve at least a B grade in Additional Science and Triple Biology.

Future opportunities

What can I expect to gain from this course and where could it lead?

A view into the incredible variety of organisms that inhabit our planet; what lies ahead for the future of genetic engineering and much, much more. An A Level in Biology is a key to many doors, namely university with such courses as Medicine, Veterinary, Forensic Science all being readily available to students with a good Biology A Level.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Chalfonts Community College directly.

Last updated date: 12 June 2015

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