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Biology A level at Luton Sixth Form College

Course description

Biology is the study of life and living processes. You can expect to examine life at a cellular, organism and ecosystem level and look at the complexity of interactions that occur.

Course content

As a biology student you will carry out practicals, pair work and group discussions, you will also make use of the internet to view animations and carry out online quizzes and research activities. You will be expected to be creative in your exploration of the subject building models and making posters which illustrate complex structures processes.

The lessons are designed to contain a combination some note taking and engaging activities to help you learn. You will need to build a minimum of five hours of self-study or independent learning into your life each week as well as the time spent in lessons.

Module 1 Development of practical skills in Biology - The development of practical skills is a fundamental and integral aspect of the study of Biology. Learners will be required to develop a range of practical skills throughout their course in preparation for the written examinations

Module 2 Foundations in Biology - All living organisms have similarities in cellular structure, biochemistry and function. An understanding of these similarities is fundamental to the study of the subject. This module includes; Cell structure, Biological molecules, Nucleotides and nucleic acids, Enzymes, Biological membranes, Cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation.

Module 3 Exchange and transport - In this module learners study the structure and function of gas exchange and transport systems in a range of animals and terrestrial plants. The significance of surface area to volume ratio in determining the need for ventilation, gas exchange and transport systems in multicellular organisms is emphasised. The examples of terrestrial green plants and a range of animal phyla are used to illustrate the principle.

Module 4 Biodiversity, evolution and disease - In this module learners study about the biodiversity of organisms; how they are classified and the ways in which biodiversity can be measured. It serves as an introduction to ecology, emphasising the practical techniques and an appreciation of the need to maintain biodiversity. The learners also gain an understanding of the variety of organisms that are pathogenic and the way in which plants and animals have evolved defences to deal with disease. The impact of the evolution of pathogens on the treatment of disease is also considered.

Module 5 Communication homeostasis and energy - Plants and animals respond to stimuli, this is achieved through communication within the body, which may be chemical and or electrical. The biochemical pathways of photosynthesis and respiration are considered with an emphasis on the formation and uses of ATP as the source of energy for biochemical processes and synthesis of biological molecules.

Module 6 Genetics evolution and ecosystems - This module cover the role of genes in regulation and controlling cell function and development. Heredity and the mechanism of evolution and speciation are also covered. Some of the practical techniques used to manipulate DNA such as sequencing and amplification are considered and its therapeutic medical use.

Entry requirements

To start any A levels you need to meet the general college entry requirements. In addition you must have two grade Bs in GCSE Science and grade B in GCSE Maths and grade C in GCSE English.


Exam Board - OCR

Future opportunities

Biology is an essential subject for many medical based careers, veterinary science, biochemistry and any degree subject with Biology in the title such as Marine Biology. The variety of career opportunities is vast and the skills you gain will be useful in any science occupation. The subject also allows progression into other professional areas such as business, catering and horticulture as your knowledge base will be broad, allowing you to analyse data and critically evaluate its worth.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Luton Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 09 September 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years