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Edexcel Level 3 Advanced Subsidiary GCE in BiologyAnd Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Biology at Queen Elizabeth's Academy

Course description


The Edexcel GCE Biology specification has been designed to engage and inspire students by showing how an understanding of many contemporary issues requires a grasp of fundamental biological ideas.

This specification has a realistic, manageable level of content and assessment. One unit in each of AS and A2 is an internally assessed practical unit.

The AS year is divided up into Unit 1, 2 (exam assessed), with the third unit being coursework, which is internally marked and then externally moderated.

Unit 1 - Lifestyle, Transport, Genes and Health
Content summary:
- structure and function of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins; enzyme action
- structure and properties of cell membranes; passive and active transport
- structure and role of DNA and RNA
- replication; protein synthesis
- monohybrid inheritance
- gene mutations
- principles of gene therapy; social and ethical issues
Assessment:
This unit is assessed by means of a written examination paper, which lasts 1 hour 30 minutes.

Unit 2 - Development, Plants and the Environmnet
Content summary:
- cell structure and ultrastructure of eukaryote and prokaryote cells: cell specialisation
- the role of meiosis
- genotype and environmental and influence
- stem cell research and its implications
- biodiversity, adaptations and natural selection
- principles of taxonomy
- plant cell structure
- transport of water in plants
- uses of plant products
Assessment:
This unit is assessed by means of a written examination paper, which lasts 1 hour 30 minutes.

Unit 3 - Practical Biology and Research Skills
Summary:
Students write a report, either a record of a visit to a site of biological interest or a report of research into a biological topic. Students practical skills will be assessed by the teacher against criteria provided in the specification.

The A2 year is divided up into Unit 4, 5 (exam assessed), with the third unit being coursework, which is internally marded and then externally moderated.

Unit 4 - The Natural Enviroment and Species Survival
Content summary:
- photosynthesis; energy transfer within ecosystems
- evidence for global warming
- evolution through natural selection and speciation
- nutrient recycling
- DNA profiling and PCR
- Structure of bacteria and viruses
- Infectious diseases (eg AIDS and TB) and immunology
Assessment:
This unit is assessed by means of a written examination paper, which lasts 1 hour 30 minutes.

Unit 5 - Energy, Exercise and Coordination
Content summary:
- ATP, glycolysis, anaerobic/aerobic respiration
- control and functioning of heart; ventilation and cardiac output
homeostasis
- the nervous system
- impact of exercise on body, and improving performance
- hormonal coordination
- brain structure and development
- imbalances in brain chemicals
- human genome project
Assessment:
This unit is assessed by means of a written examination paper, which lasts 1 hour 45 minutes.

Unit 6 - Practical Biology and Investigative Skills
Summary:
Students will complete a written report of an experimental investigation, which they have devised and carried out.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Queen Elizabeth's Academy directly.

Last updated date: 06 August 2014

Key information

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

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