Biology A Level at South Wiltshire UTC
Biology is the natural science concerned with life and living organisms. It can therefore lead on to a wide variety of careers associated with human and animal health and well-being.
The subject matter for A Level Biology includes natural structures, evolution, growth and disease. It is based on the building block of cells, and studies how organisms use energy to grow and transform and to regulate their internal environments.
Sub-divisions of Biology include:
- Microbiology (e.g. viruses and bacteria and especially the study of communicable diseases);
- Physiology (the physical and chemical functions of tissues and organs);
- Biochemistry (the fundamental Chemistry behind all life);
- Molecular Biology (how the molecules within organisms combine to create and sustain life); and
- Bioengineering (harnessing our knowledge of biological structures to solve real world problems).
The new A Level syllabuses include content-led approaches (specific topics that cover the key concepts) and context-led approaches (practical problems that demonstrate how Biology is applied). These are different approaches to gaining the same understanding. We will make a decision on which to adopt early in 2015.
You will need to have done well in Biology at GCSE (which will normally mean at least a B) or to have performed strongly in biological elements of Combined Science.
Written end of course exams test your ability to apply Biological knowledge, combining multiple choice, short structured answers and extended answers. There is also a pass/fail “practical endorsement” based on your ability to perform a minimum of 12 practicals. This reports separately rather than contributing to your A Level grade.
Biology links well with other sciences (Physics and Chemistry) and with Psychology. Breakthroughs increasingly result from the study of complex data patterns on lifestyles and behaviour so Computer Science is also a good partner subject. Most careers linked to Biology require degree level study but there are growing Apprenticeship opportunities in specialist areas such as Lab Technician work. Biology can lead to a wide range of careers including medicine, veterinary science, environmental science, biomedical engineering, zoology, research, conservation, oceanography, agriculture and pharmaceuticals.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact South Wiltshire UTC directly.