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;
  • Homeostasis;
  • 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.

Entry Requirements

At least a grade 6 in a Science and four other GCESs at grade 4 or above, including Maths and English.

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Tollbar MAT Sixth Form College

Stephen Moon

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David J Hampson