In Alton, Hampshire
Biology includes a wide range of topics involving both plants and animals. Topics include: AS Level: Heart and lung structure and function. Structure of cells. How lifestyle can affect human health. Biochemistry. DNA and cell division. A Level: Biochemistry of photosynthesis and respiration. Ecology. How nerves and muscles work. Evolution. Genetic engineering and gene therapy.
To take into account
You must fulfil the college minimum entry requirements to take A/AS levels and past experience has shown that students with a mixture of As, Bs and Cs are more likely to get good results. It is essential that you have gained at least grade B in Biology or B/B in Science before starting the course. It is also recommended that you have a B in Maths to help you cope with the mathematical elements...
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What is Biology?
Biology includes a wide range of topics involving both plants and animals. Topics include:-
- Heart and lung structure and function
- Structure of cells
- How lifestyle can affect human health
- DNA and cell division
- Biochemistry of photosynthesis and respiration
- How nerves and muscles work
- Genetic engineering and gene therapy
Part of the course will include biochemistry and mathematics. You do not need to follow these subjects at A level, although a grade B in GCSE Maths is recommended. As there is an essay component to the assessments and lots of new terminology to learn it is important that you have good English skills.
A Starter Pack will be given to you at re-interview. You need to work through this before the start of term.
Is Biology suitable for me?
Students find the packs of notes very useful as they allow them to listen and give organisation to their work. In addition they find the practicals very enjoyable.
However there is a lot of factual knowledge to learn. Deadlines must be met and revision techniques eg. Cards, spider diagrams and mind maps take a great deal of time.
You, therefore, must have the commitment and ability to learn facts prior to using them in novel situations.
At the end of each topic you will do one, or perhaps two tests. At each half term an average will be taken of these tests, so that you can see how well you are performing.
How will I learn?
Lessons will involve:
- Working through prepared notes along with the asking and answering of questions.
- Independent work
- Practical work which is assessed throughout the course.
Not only will you learn practical skills but you will be able to design and plan experiments and also criticise the methodology used.
There is a study area very near to the science laboratories. You will be encouraged to work here, using the computers and books available and to seek help from staff if it is needed.
You need to be organised in your approach to work and be committed to at least five hours extra per week on this subject.
How will I be assessed?
Coursework: Year 1- 10% of A level; 20% of AS
Year 2 -10% of A level; 20% of A2
AS level :
Unit 1 -The Biology of Disease (A level 16 â..."%) 1 hr15 mins examination.
Section A - 5- 7 short answer questions
Section B -2 longer questions
Unit 2 - The Variety of Living Organisms (A level 23 â..."%) 1 hour 45 mins examination.
Section A - 7 - 9 short answers questions
Section B 2 longer questions, 1 assessing date handling and 1 assessing analysis and evalutation
Unit 3- Internal Assessment: practical skill verification / Externally marked practical assignment. (A level 10%)
A level :
Unit 4 - Populations and Environment (A level 16 â..."%) 1Â½ hour examination.
Section A -6 - 9 short answer
Section B -2 longer questions, a short comprehension and a short structured essay
Unit 5 - Control in cells and in organisms (A level 23 â..."%) 2 hour 15 mins examination.
Section A -8 to 11 short answer
Section B - 2 longer synoptic questions (1 data handling question and a question assessing analysis) and choice of 1 out of 2 essays
Unit 6- Internal Assessment PSA/ISA type (A level 10%)
Students who have followed this course have gone on to a wide range of courses and careers. These include, medicine, veterinary science, biology, biochemistry, nursing, physiotherapy, sports science, law, business and journalism. It is worth noting that some universities now require biology as an entrance requirement for medicine. Nicola obtained a grade A in the subject and completed a Biological Science degree at Birmingham University. Katie obtained a grade B and is following a Nursing degree at Southampton University.
All students will be expected to provide their own textbooks, stationery, computer discs and calculators (where appropriate).
Essential: £30 for textbooks.
i Approximately £13 for subscription to Biology Science Review.
ii Approximately £20 for an Ecology trip.
If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, there is the opportunity to apply for help from the College Access Fund.
Course: AQA 1411/2411
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