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Biology: A Level

Course Outline
Over the course of two years there are six teaching modules.

Module 1 - Development of practical skills in Biology (year 1&2)
There are 12 assessment tasks covering the areas of planning, implementing, analysis and evaluation.

The individual tasks are intergrated into the teaching and are not separate controlled assessments or exams.


Module 2 - Foundations in biology (year 1)

Cell structure; biological molecules; nucleotides and nucleic acids; enzymes; biological membrane; cell division; cell diversity and cellular organisation.


Module 3 - Exchange and transport (year 1)

Exchange surfaces; transport in animals; transport in plants


Module 4 - Biodiversity, evolution and disease (year 1)

Communicable diseases; disease prevention and the immune system; biodiversity; classification and evolution


Module 5 - Communication, homeostatis and energy (year 2)

Communication and homeostatis; excretion; nervous and hormonal communication; plant and animal responses; photosynthesis and respiration


Module 6 - Genetics, evolution and ecosystems (year 2)
Cellular control; patterns of inheritance; manipulating genomes; cloning and biotechnology; ecosystems; populations and sustainability


There will be three written papers in June of the second year:

Biological processes (37%); Biological diversity (37%); Unified biology (26%)


As well as assessing your practical skills within the written examinations there will be a non-examined Practical Endorsement in Biology to record your successful skill development.


Teaching Styles

A very wide range of teaching styles is used on the course including practical work, use of ICT and group work. Lessons are varied and accommodate all learning styles and differing student abilities.


Subject Combinations
Many students will take Biology alongside other science subjects (Chemistry, Physics) but for others it will be their only science subject. It goes particularly well with Health and Social Care and Psychology.


Resources and facilities
At the beginning of 2011 all the science labs were completely refurbished. As well as a full range of science equipment the new labs incorporate ICT facilities including computers and interactive whiteboards. There is also a new computer suite dedicated to science students.


Key features
Good group sizes, excellent additional support, experienced teachers who are available to help students on an individual basis are key features that help each student achieve their best.


With its emphasis on developing good analytical skills, Biology is an ideal preparation for a wide range of careers inside and outside science. It is particularly useful for careers in: biological sciences and biochemistry, medicine and dentistry, pharmacy and pharmacology, optometry, physiotherapy, psychology, sports science, radiography, nursing.


Entry requirements
As part of a level 3 programme a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 - 9 are required, or equivalent, including English Language, Mathematics, EITHER Combined Science grade B, B or 6, 6, or Biology grade B or 6 (not Applied Science).


Equivalent qualifications may be considered.



Level 3 course

Two years

Progression – Higher Education and employment

4 periods a week
Assessed by exams