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Biology (GCSE) at New College Swindon

Course description

This course will help you to answer questions such as “How do human bodies respond to changes inside them and to their environment?”, “What are animals and plants built from?” and “How does exercise affect the exchanges taking place within the body?”.

We will also discuss of the development of scientific ideas and the environmental, social and ethical issues associated with technological advances.

Course content

Group work, research, individual teaching and practical work are all important parts of the course.

You will watch DVDs and use a range of textbooks, worksheets and IT skills.

Topics include:

  • Human Health
  • Nerves and hormones
  • Energy and biomass in the food chain
  • Use and abuse of drugs
  • Genetic variation and control

Practical work will include designing experiments, making measurements, presenting data and using data to draw conclusions.

Entry requirements

You should have at least a grade C in GCSE Core Science, or show that you have the necessary potential in a diagnostic test.


  • Coursework (25%): you will be assessed on your experimental skills during the year.

You will have two written tests in lesson time.

The practical skills assessment is ongoing throughout the course.  Each time you carry out an experiment you will be able to improve your skills mark.

  • Written Exams (75%): based on two bite-size exams and two papers of structured questions involving short answers, extended writing and calculations.

You can take GCSE Biology at Higher or Foundation level.  Higher level offers grades A* to D and Foundation offers grades up to and including C.  We will discuss the level of your exam entry with you during the first term.

Future opportunities

A grade B will enable you to take AS/A Level Biology, and with a grade C you could go on to BTEC Applied Science, AS/A Level Environmental Studies or AS/A Level Psychology.

It will also count as a Science GCSE if you need one for Higher Education (eg a teaching course).

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 28 April 2016

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