What Will I Study?
Year 1 (3 Units):
- Structure and function of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins; enzyme action;
- Structure and properties of cell membranes; passive and active transport;
- Structure and role of DNA and RNA;
- Replication; protein synthesis;
- Monohybrid inheritance;
- Gene mutations;
- Principles of gene therapy; social and ethical issues;
- Cell structure and ultrastructure of eukaryot and prokaryote cells: cell specialisation;
- The role of meiosis;
- Genotype and environmental influence;
- Stem cell research and its implications;
- Biodiversity, adaptations and natural selection;
- Principles of taxonomy;
- Plant cell structure;
- Transport of water in plants;
- Uses of plant products;
- Students will write a report of between 1500 and 2000 words of research into a biological topic.
Year 2 (3 Units):
- Photosynthesis; energy transfer within ecosystems;
- Evidence for global warming;
- Evolution through natural selection and Speciation;
- Nutrient recycling;
- DNA profiling and PCR;
- Structure of bacteria and viruses;
- Infectious diseases and immunology;
- ATP, glycolysis, anaerobic/aerobic respiration;
- Control and functioning of heart; ventilation and cardiac output;
- The nervous system;
- Impact of exercise on body, and improving performance;
- Hormonal coordination;
- Brain structure and development;
- Imbalances in brain chemicals;
- Human Genome Project.
Students will complete a written report of an experimental investigation, which they have devised and carried out.
How Will I Be Assessed?
There are three Biology papers.
- Biological processes - 100 marks - 2 hour 15 minute written paper, worth 37% of total A Level;
- Biological Diversity - 100 marks - 2 hour 15 minute written paper, worth 37% of total A Level;
- Unified Biology - 70 marks - 1 hour 30 minute written paper, worth 26% of total A Level.
The Practical Endorsement in Biology - a non-examined assessment which is reported separately.
What Will I Need?
In addition to a solid GCSE knowledge from either Biology or Additional Science, a good understanding of Maths is also necessary.
What Can This Subject Lead To/Prepare Me For?
A Level Biology is aimed at students who really enjoy Biology and those who possibly need it for Science-based university courses. It is also aimed at students who are likely to need to use Biology in their career.
At least a grade 6 in a Science and four other GCESs at grade 4 or above, including Maths and English.