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Biology A Level (Distance Learning) at National Extension College *Fees Payable*

Course description

**DISTANCE LEARNING COURSE**

 

This distance learning course in biology takes a close look at more advanced aspects of this branch of science, including genetics, biodiversity and forensic pathology. If you want to work in a profession that incorporates biology, such as health care, environmental conservation or pharmaceuticals, an A level in the subject is an essential starting point. It’s also a necessity if you wish to study for a degree in biology, and serves as an excellent subject to either study alongside other sciences or as a complementary choice with more essay-focused subjects. 

 

 

You should allow for between 250 and 300 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 18 months from the date of enrolment.

Course content

Unit 1: Lifestyle, transport, genes and health

  • Topic 1: Lifestyle, health and risk
  • What is cardiovascular disease?
  • Who is at risk of cardiovascular disease?
  • Risk factors for cardiovascular disease
  • Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Topic 2: Genes and health
  • The effects of cystic fibrosis on the lungs
  • Why is CF mucus so sticky?
  • How does CF affect other body systems?
  • How is the CFTR protein made?
  • What goes wrong with DNA?
  • How is cystic fibrosis inherited?
  • How is cystic fibrosis treated?
  • Testing for CF

Unit 2: Development, plants and the environment

  • Topic 3: Voice of the genome
  • In the beginning
  • From one to many: the cell cycle
  • How development is controlled
  • Genes and environment
  • Topic 4: Biodiversity and natural resources
  • Why are there so many different species?
  • How did organisms become so well adapted?
  • Quantifying biodiversity
  • Making use of biodiversity
  • On the brink

Unit 3: Practical biology and research skills

  • Practical skills
  • Visit or issue report

Unit 4: The natural environment and species survival

  • Topic 5: On the wild side
  • What is an ecosystem?
  • Ecosystems rely on energy transfer
  • Is the climate changing?
  • Why are global temperatures changing?
  • Predicting future climates
  • Coping with climate change
  • Adapt or die
  • Getting the balance right
  • Topic 6: Infection, immunity and forensics
  • Forensic biology
  • Cause of death
  • The body's response to infection
  • The body's response to TB
  • The body's response to HIV and AIDS
  • Could the infections have been prevented?
  • Are there treatments for AIDS and TB?

Unit 5: Energy, exercise and coordination

  • Topic 7: Run for your life
  • Getting moving
  • Energy for action
  • Peak performance
  • Breaking out in a sweat
  • Overdoing it
  • Improving on nature
  • Topic 8: Grey matter
  • The nervous system and nerve impulses
  • Reception of stimuli
  • The brain
  • Visual development
  • Making sense of what we see
  • Learning and memory
  • Problems with the synapses

Unit 6: Practical biology and investigative skills

  • Practical skills

Entry requirements

GCSE Science (double award) or GCSE Biology (minimum grade C) or Intermediate GNVQ Science or a BTEC First in Science is advisable.

Assessment

Please note that due to upcoming changes the final opportunity to sit exams for this course isSummer 2016.

Four exams: 1hr30m (20% of marks), 1hr30m (20% of marks), 1hr30m (20% of marks and 1hr30m (20% of marks)

Six AS assignments, six A2 assignments
Two coursework tasks centred around 20 core practicals (20% of marks)

Financial information

**FEES PAYABLE**

 

It’s your choice: pay in full and discount your course fees, or spread the cost with our finance offer. To pay in instalments, you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative examples:

For the full A level
Course fee:   £545
Deposit:  £54.50
Amount of credit:   £490.50
Monthly payment:  £81.75
Duration of agreement:  6 months
Total repayable:  £545
Rate of interest:  0%(fixed)
0% APR representative.  
 
For AS level or A2 level
Course fee:  £325
Deposit:   £32.50
Amount of credit: £292.50 
Monthly payment:   £48.75
Duration of agreement:  6 months
Total repayable:   £325
Rate of interest:  0% (fixed)
0% APR representative.  
 
For enrolments in the UK there are no additional postage and packing charges. For enrolments outside of the UK the following postage and packing charges apply:

 

  • EU – £75 for the first course and £40 for second and subsequent courses
  • Rest of the world – £130 for the first course and £70 for second and subsequent courses

Further information

Essential textbooks

AS:

  • University of York Science Education Group, Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology for Edexcel AS Biology Student Book, Pearson Education, 2008

A2

  • University of York Science Education Group, Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology for Edexcel A2 Biology Student Book, Pearson Education, 2009

 

You do not need laboratory access for this course, but there is a strong practical element, with two coursework tasks centred around 20 core practicals. However, our bespoke home study A level biology course has been specially designed by experts to be completed at home and all of the practicals can be carried out around the house, using equipment that you should be able to obtain without difficulty from high street shops.

You will need some scientific equipment, including safety goggles, a small pipette and a thermometer, but these – and everything else you will need – are all available from shops selling pharmaceuticals, hardware, toys and kitchenware. You will also need a compound microscope, but you should be able to buy a basic example relatively inexpensively.

You will receive a full list of all the equipment you'll require for this course with your course materials.

 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact National Extension College *Fees Payable* directly.

Last updated date: 02 June 2015
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Key information

Contact details

    • Contact name:
    • Course and Fee Enquiries
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 08003892839
    • Email address:
    • info@nec.ac.uk

Venues

  • More information
    • *DISTANCE LEARNING COURSE*

      This means you can study from anywhere!

      Further details of where you can sit any examinations are included in the Assessment section of each course.

      Please note that fees are payable for the National Extension College's courses.