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Biology A level at Paston Sixth Form College

Course description

A-level Biology is a reformed two year course culminating in three written papers at the end of the second year. The first year of study can also lead to an AS qualification but these marks do not contribute to the final A-level Biology qualification. We follow a traditional specification which allows you to explore key areas of biology in depth leading to greater understanding.

Biology can be studied with a variety of other A-level courses or combined with other sciences such as Chemistry and Maths. It prepares you for a wide range of degree courses leading to careers in medicine, veterinary and forensic science, science journalism and many, many more. If you are thinking of taking a science degree you should study two science subjects and Maths.

Course content

First Year

Between 'aardvark' and 'zorilla' (yes, there is such an animal!) there are about 30 million different kinds of living organism, yet in spite of this incredible variety, many features of their structure and biochemistry are surprisingly similar. In the first year of Biology you explore fundamentals such as cell structure, biological reactions, enzymes and DNA which help you to make sense of the big picture. You then explore how a range of biological organisms are adapted to carry out gas exchange and the digestion and transport of nutrients.  The course has a large practical component and so you will become expert in using microscopes, testing for biochemicals and making biological measurements.

Second Year

In the second year of A-level Biology you explore new themes, but many build on the core concepts learnt in the first year of the course. Respiration is a feature of all living organisms and is studied in depth. This helps with the understanding of the energy transfer from plants to animals in food chains and the concept of ecosystems. This part of the course will include a field trip to measure biodiversity and you will research the influence man has on the environment and consider future implications. 

You will investigate reproduction and the diversity of living organisms and you will use cutting edge technology to produce genetic fingerprints which will help you to appreciate how these advances assist with classification and understanding evolution. Finally you will study aspects of human physiology.

Entry requirements

BBCCC at GCSE including English Language, at least a B in Additional Science or Biology and B in GCSE Maths.

Assessment

Assessment will be by 3 written examinations at the end of the course, each contributing 33% to the final A-level grade. 

Component One – Energy for Life (2 hours) 
Component Two – Continuity of Life (2 hours) 
Component Three – Requirements for Life (2 hours)

Future opportunities

A-level Biology prepares you for a wide range of degree courses leading to careers in medicine, veterinary and forensic science, science journalism and many, many more. If you are thinking of taking a science degree you should study two science subjects and Maths. 

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 09 September 2016

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