Biology A-Level, AQA

This course is for those students who have an inherent interest in living things and the ways in which their processes contribute to the survival of the organism, and who may wish to develop knowledge of a subject that has enormous relevance to our understanding of the world around us.

How can Biology contribute to your future career?

Biology is an engaging and exciting subject! The topics in this AQA specification will stimulate enthusiasm from the start. It emphasises the way in which biologists work and the contributions of biology to society. Barely a month goes by without us hearing of yet another development that will affect our lives. Of late, developments in genetic engineering have offered us all a better life, in terms of treating diseases, but often the headlines are of human clones or the side effects of eating genetically modified foods. To increase awareness of such scientific advances is exciting in itself, but to understand what is truth and what makes good headlines is power through knowledge.

During the A-Level Biology course, students will develop a greater understanding of such issues, as well as appreciate the impact of new developments on society. A-level Biology is a desirable requirement for degrees in Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Veterinary Science, Marine Biology, Environmental Science, Biochemistry Physiology, Microbiology and Health. The subject is diverse and there are distinct overlaps with other A-level courses, notably Geography, Chemistry, Psychology and Sports Science.

Course of Study

There are 8 core modules:

  1. Biological Molecules
  2. Cells
  3. Organisms exchange substances with the environment
  4. Genetic Information, variation and relationships between organisms
  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

How is this course implemented?

The format of study is composed of traditional teaching, supplemented by practical experiments which investigate new ideas and help in the understanding of key concepts. Some practical lessons are used to assess the required practical skills. There is much scope for independent research and this course helps students enhance their knowledge and skills while enabling them to adapt to a more rigorous independent and self-disciplined approach to study.

How is this course assessed?

The A-level is completed and independently assessed by three written papers at the end of year two. The assessment of practical skills is made through practical assignments which take place throughout the course. When these are completed successfully they provide an additional practical endorsement to the final A-level qualification.

Contact Mrs Sharon Stosiek, Teacher of Biology for more information

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