Biology is the study of life.
Studying Biology not only gives a greater understanding of how the human body works but also how other animals and plants function, and how all living things interact with each other and with their environment. It is a subject where knowledge can be applied instantly and it develops an understanding of why things happen.
The subject combines particularly well with other sciences, as well as Geography and Psychology. It can be used to gain entry to a variety of professions. Studying Biology develops the ability to be critical, to analyse data, to be curious and enquiring and not to accept anything at face value.
The course we study is AQA biology A level. Students study 4 units in year 12 and 4 more in year 13. In addition to this they carry out 12 required practicals which form a separate qualification in practical skills.
|1. Biological Molecules||2. Cells||3. Organisms and their environment||4. Genetics information, variation and relationship|
|including water, proteins, fats, carbohydates, enzymes, DNA, Replication||including cell structure, viruses, mitosis, immunity, calculating magnification.||including gas exchange, breathing, digestion, absorption and mass transport in plants and animals||including DNA, genes, meiosis, calculations of biodiversity, genetic diversity and taxonomy|
|5. Energy transfers in and between organisms||6. Organisms respond to change||7. Genetics, populations, evolution and eco system||8. The control of gene expression|
|including photosynthesis,respiration, energy, ecology and nutrient cycles.||including the nervous system, muscle contraction, hormones, kidneys, homeostasis and feedback mechanisms.||including inheritance, genetic crosses, selection pressures, succession and statistical tests.||including stem cells, gene mutatations, epigenetics, cancer, cloning, gene technologies.|
This course is best suited to students who have a minimum of grade 6 at GCSE in Biology and Chemistry or Combined Science. Students must have taken higher papers at GCSE as the level of demand of the course even from the beginning is much higher than this. There is also a substantial maths component to the course and students are recommended to have taken the higher paper and achieved a minimum of grade 6.
What type of student is this course suitable for?
The most obvious answer is that you must have an interest in the life sciences and a desire to understand in more detail how the body works and about the complicated relationships that exist between the living things on our planet. You must be academically minded, there is a lot of content to be understood and learned.
A successful A level biology student will need to be self-motivated, be able to work both independently and within a team. You must be willing to read around your subject as some of the most exciting developments in biology have taken place over the last two decades.
Where could this course take you?
GCE Biology is used in many different areas. This course could lead to careers in areas such as Medicine, Nursing, Forensics, Veterinary Science, Environmental Science, Dentistry, Pathology, Biochemistry, and Physiotherapy or as an A-level to accompany other non-science subjects. Biology is a facilitating subject.
What our students say
“Looking at the different processes of the human body and plants is very interesting and opens your eyes to a world that has a lot more going on in it than you imagined.” Year 12 Student