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Biology AS Level at Fortismere School

Course description

Biology is the study of living things (including humans) and how they interact with the environment. A-Level Biology appeals to students who enjoy science and are naturally inquisitive about the human body, the natural world and the myriad organisms that populate our diverse planet. The Biology studied at A-Level provides a solid background for most science based degree courses. It is required to at least study AS level by some universities for courses in medicine, dentistry, natural sciences and biological sciences. A-Level Biologists have a wide variety options when choosing which subject to read at university. Examples include; genetics, environmental science, ecology, bio-medical science, veterinary science, marine biology and zoology.

Course content

AS B1 Biology & Disease




The digestive system & Enzymes

Principles of immunology

  • Proteins
  • Enzyme action
  • Enzyme properties
  • Carbohydrate digestion

Plasma membranes and the exchange of materials between cells.

  • Cells
  • Plasma membranes
  • Diffusion
  • Osmosis
  • Active transport
  • Absorption
  • Cholera

The lungs of a mammal.

  • Lung function
  • The biological basis of lung disease
  • Heart structure and function
  • The biological basis of heart disease

    Mammalian blood & defensive functions.

    AS B2 The variety of organisms

    Genetic variation & environmental variation.

  • Investigating variation
  • Causes of variation
  • DNA is an information-carrying molecule.
  • Structure of DNA
  • Genes and polypeptides
  • DNA and chromosomes
  • Meiosis

DNA & genetic diversity.

  • Genetic diversity

The variety of life.

  • Haemoglobin
  • Carbohydrates
  • Cells

Cell cycle.

  • Replication of DNA
  • Mitosis
  • Cell cycle
  • Cell differentiation
Tissues, Organs and Systems


  • Size and surface area
  • Gas exchange
  • Mass transport
  • The blood system
  • The passage of water through a plant

Classification of organisms

  • Principles of taxonomy
  • Genetic comparisons
  • DNA
  • Proteins
  • Behaviour

Adaptation and selection.

  • Antibiotics
  • Genetic variation in bacteria


  • Species diversity
  • Index of diversity

Entry requirements

Double A Grade in Science (cannot accept students who have studied Single Award Science), or at least one A Grade (which must be in Biology) if studying 3 separate GCSE Science subjects. Grade B in Maths GCSE and Grade B in English GCSE.


The lessons will be a mixture of teacher-led activities, practical experimental work and student presentations. At times you will be expected to work in a group and at other times individually. There is an examination in January called B1 (33%), an exam in June called B2 (47%) and an externally marked practical assessment EMPA (20%).

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Fortismere School directly.

Last updated date: 22 September 2016
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Key information


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    • We have an outstanding and popular sixth form, with students joining us from a wide geographical area. Our students usually study four AS level subjects in Year 12 and, three or four A2 subjects in Year 13 for the full A level award.

      We support our students’ academic progress by a system of target setting and monitoring. We also provide excellent guidance for students, as well as additional mentoring for those making Oxbridge applications or preparing for BMAT and UKCAT (medical) or Law entrance exams. The vast majority progress on to university and a sophisticated guidance system ensures that they are well advised in their decision-making.

      We have a strong focus on school leadership and on students taking responsibility for their progress.