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Biology A Level at Bishop Challoner Catholic College

Course description

The study of Biology allows us to develop a wider understanding of many of the issues facing the world today, such as global warming, health and disease. Biology will give you an insight to many aspects from the threat of new diseases emerging to conserving endangered species to the development of new exciting technologies.

Course content

What will I learn?

At AS Level the course will focus on four modules.

1. Development of practical skills This examines a range of different investigations, while developing a range of practical investigative skills.

2. Foundations in Biology This examines cell structure, how they work and divide. You will also learn about cellular organisation and the importance of key biological molecules such as DNA.

3. Exchange and Transport This looks at the importance of exchange surfaces and transport systems in animals and plants.

4. Biodiversity, evolution and disease You will study the way in which diseases, diet, and smoking affect health and how the immune system can protect the body against disease. You will also examine the importance of biodiversity, classification and evolution.

At A Level the course will include modules 1 to 4 as shown above and modules 5 and 6 as shown below.

5. Communications, homeostasis, and energy. This focuses on how the nervous and endocrine systems work to maintain homeostasis in the body. You will also focus on the importance of respiration and photosynthesis.

6. Genetics, evolution and ecosystems. This examines the importance of genetics and biotechnology to current and new developments in Science. You will also learn how skeletal and muscular systems work. This module also highlights how we can study behaviour and how the brain works.

Entry requirements

It is not appropriate for students who have completed the Foundation Tier examinations in Additional Science to study AS levels in sciences as they will not have covered the necessary content to be able to access the AS level.

In addition to this, the following minimum entrance criteria will apply:

Biology - a grade 6 in GCSE mathematics

Chemistry - minimum of a grade 6 in GCSE mathematics

Physics - minimum of a grade 7 in GCSE mathematics


How will I be assessed?

AS This qualification will be examined at the end of Year 12 in the following way:

Paper 1: Breadth of Biology (covers modules 1 to 4) Summer Sitting- 1 Hour and 30 minute exam, 50%

Paper 2: Depth of Biology (covers modules 1 to 4) Summer Sitting- 1 Hour and 30 minute written exam, 50%

A2 This qualification will be examined at the end of Year 13 in the following way: Paper 1: Biological Processes (covers modules 1, 2, 3, and 5) Summer Sitting- 2 Hours and 15 minutes exam, 37%

Paper 2: Biological Diversity (covers modules 1, 2, 4 and 6) Summer Sitting- 2 Hours and 15 minutes written exam, 37% Paper 3: Unified Biology (modules 1 to 6) Summer Sitting- 1 hour and 30 minutes, 26%

Future opportunities

Where might this course take me?

Studying Biology is a key requirement or good stepping stone for many medical-based degree courses such as physiotherapy, dentistry and medicine. Biology can also be very useful in other areas such as Environmental Science, Sports Science and Sports and Leisure Management. If you have an investigative, scientific mind and are committed to developing your understanding of how Biology can impact on our lives, then this is the course for you.

Further information

Students studying the full A Level will also have a Practical Endorsement for Biology. This will appear alongside their A Level grade on their certificate but will not contribute to the overall grade for the qualification. By achieving this endorsement it will show that practical skills necessary for the study of Biology have been achieved by the student. The skills will be monitored throughout the year during the normal delivery of the course and not examined in a formal way.

By attending all lessons the students will develop the necessary skills and over the course would be expected to meet the stated criteria to achieve this practical endorsement.

At least 15% of question paper assessments will cover knowledge and understanding of practical skills and at least 10% of question paper assessments will cover mathematical skills. Throughout the course the practical and mathematical skills will be highlighted within each module.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 17 November 2016
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Key information

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