Biology is the study of life. In the 21st Century Biology plays a crucial role in our everyday existence. Advances in new technologies, such as recombinant DNA and stem cell research have made this varied discipline more exciting than ever.
Biology A-level covers a wide range of topics – from the structure of biological molecules to the inner workings of a cell, right through to learning how whole organisms function and interact at a species level.
It is a challenging two year course which offers a wide breadth of topics and is very rewarding to committed, motivated students. An independent approach will be encouraged throughout in order to promote the work ethic and style required at university level.
A series of twelve required practicals, spaced across the two years, provides an excellent opportunity to develop competent lab skills – a key requirement for university courses.
AQA will provide a list of practical activities that students must carry out.
Exam questions will be based on these practicals. We will also signpost further opportunities for practicals throughout the specification.
AS and first year of A-level
1. Biological molecules
3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment
4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
Second year of A-level
5. Energy transfers in and between organisms
6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
8. The control of gene expression
Either combinations of:
GCSE Core and Additional Science Grade 6 or above.
If completing Triple Science GCSE then at least two of the three qualifications at grade 6 or above (must include Biology).
GCSE Mathematics and English Language at a grade 4-9.
Careers linked with the Biological Sciences, including nursing, dentistry and medicine. Careers in any of the science disciplines as Biology will complement further study in Chemistry, Physics or in the social sciences, such as Psychology. It also provides support for those who are interested in pursuing a Sports-based career path.
The options are endless! Potential careers include being a research scientist, forensic scientist, doctor, nurse, paramedic, ecologist, nutritionist, personal trainer, biochemical engineer, crime scene investigator and many, many more! Below are some examples of degrees available.
1. Biological Science at the University of Oxford. https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/biological-sciences?wssl=1
2. Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/natural-sciences
3. Medicine and Veterinary Science at the University of Edinburgh. http://www.ed.ac.uk/medicine-vet-medicine/prospective-undergraduates
4. Zoology at the University of St Andrews. https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/subjects/biology/zoology-bsc/#11320