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Biology A level                                                                            studied at all schools (as only class at phs)

QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED TO START THE COURSE

To find out what qualifications are needed for each pathway/entry route click here.

6 or above in combined science or biology

6 or above in mathematics

6 or above in English language

YEAR 12 COURSE SPECIFICATION

Four units are studied over the year. At the end of year 12 there will be two examinations testing the knowledge and skills from these units.

The topics:

* Topic 1 Biological molecules

* Topic 2 Cells

* Topic 3 Organisms exchange substances with their environment

* Topic 4 Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

YEAR 13 COURSE SPECIFICATION

4 additional units are studied to achieve an A level in biology. At the end of the year there will be three examinations testing the knowledge and skills learnt from both years.

The additional topics are:

* Topic 5 Energy transfers in and between organisms

* Topic 6 Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments

* Topic 7 Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems

* Topic 8 The control of gene expression

These are just some of the skills you will learn during the course.

A description or list of the year 13 course specification

LEARNING AND SKILLS

Students will develop practical and analytical skills, by planning experiments, collecting data, analysing experimental results, and making conclusions. Students will also learn how scientific models are developed, the applications and implications of science, the benefits and risks that science brings, and the ways in which society uses science to make decisions.

Students will also need to:

* Make clear, concise notes from reference texts

* Interpret data in a variety of forms e.g. graphs, experimental results

* Assess and evaluate scientific information

* Apply biological facts and principles to new problems and situations

* Perform a variety of practical work such as dissections, microscopic work, and investigations

* Maintain a written record of all practical work in a log book

* Use interactive tutorials on computers both in school and at home.

* Write essays ( one essay from choice of two in paper 3)

Use mathematical skills:

* Calculate percentages, ratios, rates, probabilities

* Carry out and interpret statistical tests

* Plot and interpret a variety of different graphs

* Use a calculator to find and use power, exponential and logarithmic functions

* Use logarithms

* Utilise and manipulate algebraic formula

* Carry out geometry and trigonometry

EXAMINATION AND ASSESSMENT

 EXAM BOARD: AQA

PAPERS

TYPE OF ASSESSMENT

DURATION

WEIGHTING

Paper 1 AS

Any content from topics 1-4,

including relevant practical skills

Exam 

1 hour 30 minutes

50% of AS

Paper 2 AS

Any content from topics 1-4,

including relevant practical skills

Exam

1 hour 30 minutes

50% of AS

Paper 1

Any content from topics 1-4,

including relevant practical skills

 Exam

2 hourss

35% of full A level

FUTURE PROSPECTS

Students can go to university to study courses such as medicine, medical sciences, veterinary science, pharmacy, biochemistry, biotechnology, genetics, neuroscience, marine biology, botany, food science, sports science, environmental science, ecology and equine studies. Biology also provides an interesting and topical course, for students who do not wish to further their studies in science at university. Additionally, it links well with many other subjects, e.g. geography and psychology.