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Biology GCSE at Guildford College

Course description

Biology is the study of living organisms in it’s various forms, including human, animal, plant and microbe. 

You should have an interest in the study of living organisms, enjoy carrying out investigations in the laboratory or as fieldwork and be interested in the developments of ‘new’ biology topics, such as genetic engineering, cloning and stem cell research.

Course content

Biology 1: Keeping healthy; nerves and hormones; the use and abuse of drugs; interdependence and adaptation; energy and biomass in food chains; waste materials from plants and animals; genetic variation and its control; evolution.

Biology 2: Cells and simple cell transport; tissues, organs and organ systems; photosynthesis; organisms in the environment; protein function and use; aerobic and anaerobic respiration; cell division and inheritance; speciation.

Biology 3: Movement of molecules in and out of cells; transport systems in plants and animals; homeostasis; humans and their environment.

Throughout the three units and the controlled assessment are aspects of “how science works” which include skills such as making observations, evaluating experimental design, analysing data and drawing conclusions.

Entry requirements

GCSE Science Double Award grade D or Biology grade D. Maths and English GCSE at grade C are useful but not essential. 

The class is comprised of a wide variety of students, varying from school leavers who have only recently completed their GCSE’s to mature adults who have not had any recent Science education.

Some students have degrees whereas others are only just beginning their route through education.

All students are welcome providing they meet the course entry requirements and/or pass the individual interview.


The course is assessed by written exams and practical tasks.

There are three formal examinations (Biology 1, Biology 2 and Biology 3) at the end of the year and each is a one hour written paper worth 25% of the final grade.

There is also one controlled assessment during the year based on practical skills that is worth 25% of the final grade.

You will also be expected to complete regular homework assignments and periodic tests as part of your on going assessment.

Progress tests and mock exams must be passed to continue the course.

Future opportunities

A number of students study the course in order to progress on to A Level Biology where a grade B in GCSE Biology is required.

The course is also popular amongst students wishing to progress on to Level 3 Health and Social Care, Access to Higher Education and/or Teacher Training courses. Depending on your grades (and other subject choices), this could be followed by a degree and/or career in Biology, Ecology, Marine Biology, Botany, Zoology, Genetics, Forensics, Veterinary/Medical sciences and many others

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Guildford College directly.

Last updated date: 10 June 2016
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