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Biology A Level at The National CofE Academy

Course description

AS
Unit 1

  • Disease may be caused by infectious pathogens or may reflect the effects of lifestyle.
  • The digestive system provides an interface with the environment. Digestion involves enzymic hydrolysis producing smaller molecules that can be absorbed and assimilated.
  • Substances are exchanged between organisms and their environment by passive or active transport across exchange surfaces. The structure of plasma membranes enables control of the passage of substances across exchange surfaces.
  • The lungs of a mammal act as an interface  with the environment. Lung function may be affected by pathogens and by factors relating to lifestyle.
  • Mammalian blood possesses a number of defensive functions.

Unit 2

Living organisms vary and this variation is influenced by genetic and environmental factors.

  • DNA is an information-carrying molecule. Its sequence of bases determines the structure of proteins, including enzymes.
  • Similarities and differences in DNA result in genetic diversity.
  • The variety of life is extensive and thi is reflected in similarities and differences in its biochemical basis and cellular organisation.
  • During the cell cycle, genetic information is copied and passed to genetically identical daughter cells.
  • In complex multicellular organisms, cells are organised into tissues, tissues into organs and organs into systems.
  • Factors such as size and metabolic rate affect the requirements of organisms and this gives rise to adaptations such as specialised exchange surfaces and mass transport systems.
  • Classification is a means of organising the variety of life based on relationships between organisms and is built round the concept of species.
  • Originally, classification systems were based on observable features but more recent approaches draw on a wider range of evidence to clarify relationships between organisms.
  • Adaptation and selection are major components of evolution and make a significant contribution to the diversity of living organisms.
  • Biodiversity may be measured within a habitat

Unit 3 (Investigation and practical skills)

This unit will address the following aspects of the AS subject criteria. The ability to

  •  demonstrate and describe ethical, safe and skilful practical techniques, selecting appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods
  • make, record and communicate reliable and valid observations and measurements with appropriate precision and accuracy
  • analyse, interpret, explain and evaluate the methodology, results and impact of their own and others’ experimental and investigatory activities in a variety of ways.

A2

Unit 4

  • The dynamic equilibrium of populations is  affected by a number of factors.
  • ATP provides the immediate source of energy for biological processes.
  • In photosynthesis, energy is transferred  to ATP in the light-dependent reaction and the

ATP is utilised in the light-independent reaction.

  • In respiration, glycolysis takes place in  the cytoplasm and the remaining steps in the mitochondria.
  • Energy is transferred through ecosystems  and the efficiency of transfer can be measured.
  • Chemical elements are recycled in  ecosystems. Microorganisms play a key role in recycling these elements.
  • Ecosystems are dynamic systems, usually moving from colonisation to climax communities in the process of succession.
  • Genetic variation within a species and  geographic isolation lead to the accumulation of different genetic information in populations and the potential formation of new species.

 

Unit 5

  • Stimuli, both internal and external, are detected and lead to a response.
  • Coordination may be chemical or electrical in nature.
  • Skeletal muscles are stimulated to contract by nerves and act as effectors.
  • Homeostasis is the maintenance of a constant internal environment.
  • Negative feedback helps maintain an optimal internal state in the context of a dynamic equilibrium. Positive feedback also occurs.
  • The sequence of bases in DNA determines the structure of proteins, including enzymes.
  • Gene expression is controlled by a number of features.
  • Gene cloning technologies allow study and  alteration of gene function in order to better understand organism function and to design new industrial and medical processes.

Unit 6 (Investigation and practical skills)

 This unit will address the following aspects of the A2 subject criteria. The ability to

  • demonstrate and describe ethical, safe and skilful practical techniques, selecting appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods
  • make, record and communicate reliable and valid observations and measurements with appropriate precision and accuracy
  • analyse, interpret, explain and evaluate the methodology, results and impact of their own and others’ experimental and investigatory activities in a variety of ways.

Course content

See above.

Assessment

Exams for each unit.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The National CofE Academy directly.

Last updated date: 21 July 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years

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