Biology – A Level
Special Entry Requirements
In addition to the A Level entry requirements, you will need grade 5 in GCSE Maths and grade 6 in GCSE Science.
Biology is a linear A level and will be assessed at the end of two years of study.
We offer Eduqas Biology. We aim to provide a course for students who are interested in science and who may wish to pursue a medical or science related course at University, as well as catering for students who enjoyed Biology at GCSE and who wish to pursue it further in combination with non-science subjects.
The course is designed to:
- progressively build on your GCSE biology knowledge;
- help you appreciate structure and function relations in biology;
- deepen and broaden your understanding of key biological principles;
- develop your confidence to apply these principles to new situations.
The content is fairly broad covering major body systems such as the circulatory, nervous, respiratory, urogenital and reproductive systems; we also cover some aspects of ecology and plant biology and genetics and its application.
The course also focuses on developing your practical experimental technique and so there is a strong emphasis on plant and animal dissection, microscopic examination of tissues and structures, and biological investigations.
Chemical elements and biological compounds: this topic develops your understanding of structure and function of biologically important molecules.
Cells structure and organisation: a more in-depth look at the structure and functions of plant, bacterial and animal cells.
Cell membranes and transport: how do cells control which substances move in and out of the cells.
Enzymes and biological reactions: Enzymes are biological catalysts, this topic looks at how they work as catalysts and the factors that affect how they work.
Nucleic acids and their functions: your DNA contains the genetic information that makes you unique. This topic looks at the structure of DNA, how this codes for your genes and how this genetic information is copied and translated into proteins.
The cell and cell cycle: cells divide and reproduce for growth and repair; this topic looks at the factors control how and when cells divide.
Classification and biodiversity: All life is organised into groups, we look at what these grouping are, how to define a species and how and why some species are threatened by extinction.
Adaptations for gas exchange: your respiratory system is wonderfully adapted and specialised to make sure each of your 30 trillion cells get the oxygen and nutrients they need.
Adaptations for transport in animals: this topic looks at the structure of the heart and blood vessels, ECG and the control of heartbeat. We compare this to equivalent structures in fish and insects.
Adaptations for transport in plants: just like animals, plants need a transport system, learn how the plant transport systems work.
Adaptations for nutrition: you are what you eat, or so they say: in this topic we will find out just how true or otherwise this is.
Importance of ATP, photosynthesis and respiration: ATP is the cell’s energy currency, find out how it is made in plants and animals.
Microbiology: some bacteria cause disease, some are useful, find out how we classify bacteria and learn how to use aseptic technique to grow and culture bacteria safely.
Population size and ecosystems: find out about the living and non-living factors that affect how plant and animal populations grow and change over time.
Human impact on the environment: this topic covers how species become endangered and extinct, how farming practices, fishing, deforestation and conservation is affect the environment.
Sexual reproduction in humans and plants: learn about the structure of male and female reproductive systems, how eggs become fertilised and grow to form a foetus and baby. Compare this to the way in which plants become pollinated and how seeds germinate and grow.
Inheritance, Variation and evolution: How do your genes and how they are passed on affect your physical features? How do environmental factors have a role in shaping your features? How does natural selection occur?
Application of reproduction and genetics: this topic covers important established and emerging techniques to study genes: DNA sequencing and profiling, recombinant DNA technology, gene therapy, therapeutic uses of stem cells.
Homeostasis and the kidney: homeostasis is the way the body maintains a constant internal environment, in this topic we look at the central role of the kidney in excretion and in regulating water and salt content in body fluids.
The nervous system: The brain spinal cord are studied, as is a reflex arc and the effect of drugs on the nervous system.
First Year – The course is assessed by 2 examinations at the end of the first year, which involve short answer questions to test knowledge, understanding and your ability to apply these. Investigative and practical skills are developed throughout the course and assessed. For those taking the 2 year course these will be internally assessed.
Second Year – The course is assessed by 3 examinations at the end of the second year, covering biology studied during both years of the course. There is also a separate practical skills certificate.