Biology is the Science of life. Through the study of Biology, students should gain a respect for all forms of life, and the place that humankind shares with all other living things in the environment. Modern Biological Science courses cover topics ranging from the molecular level, through to cell biology, to the study of multicellular organisms and their environment. This course places a strong emphasis on the development of sound practical skills.
Specifications for AQA A Level Biology
These qualifications are linear. Linear means that students will sit all the exams at the end of their 2 year course. There are 8 topics covered over 2 years of study. All classes have 5 lessons a week split between two of the A Level Biology teachers.
- Subject content Year 12 1 Biological molecules 2 Cells 3 Organisms exchange substances with their environment 4 Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
- Subject content Year 13 5 Energy transfers in and between organisms (A-level only) 6 Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments 7 Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems 8 The control of gene expression
Assessment Board AQA (Specification 7402)
- Paper 1 Topics 1-4 including relevant practical skills 2 hours 35% of final mark
- Paper 2 Topics 5-8 including relevant practical skills 2 hours 35% of final mark
- Paper 3 Topics 1-8 including relevant practical skills 2 hours 30% of final mark
All examination papers will contain a mixture of short and long answer questions, extended response and comprehension question. Paper 3 includes a short synoptic essay of 25 marks.
Practical work is at the heart of biology. There are 12 assessed practical activities that must be carried out by all students taking this course. Written papers will assess knowledge and understanding of these practical activities, and the skills exemplified within each practical. Pupils will receive a Pass / Fail for the satisfactory completion of all 12 practicals.
Generic A-Level entry requirements plus a grade 6 in Biology or 6/6 in Double Science.
You could take this course to complement other advanced level courses to prepare for the A2 in Biology, which could lead onto higher education in science related subjects or more general higher education courses. With further training, you could go into a job related to Biology.