AS/A2 Biology examines how molecules, cells and organs work, and how organisms operate in their environment. There is a strong focus on applications of biology in medicine, such as the study of infectious diseases, and industry. There is also a strong emphasis on the human side of the subject: you will examine subjects ranging from lung function to genetics and genetic engineering. You will.
Government funding available
To take into account
: Four Grade Cs at GCSE in appropriate subjects and higher tier Mathematics at minimum Grade B. Science and Additional Science at higher tier must be at least BB, and if you have studied the Sciences separately, you will need a Grade B in at least two, including Biology. Only science GCSE courses which have a high proportion of external assessment will normally be considered.
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AS/A2 Biology examines how molecules, cells and organs work, and how organisms operate in their environment. There is a strong focus on applications of biology in medicine, such as the study of infectious diseases, and industry. There is also a strong emphasis on the human side of the subject: you will examine subjects ranging from lung function to genetics and genetic engineering. You will carry out experiments and other practical work to support theoretical studies. There is a dedicated website to support your learning.
AS Course Content
AS Biology comprises three modules:
1. Lifestyle, Health and Risk
You will study biomolecules, cell transport, nucleic acids, genetics and gene therapy.
2. Development, Plants and the Environment
In this unit you will look at meiosis, variation, stem cells, biodiversity, natural selection, classifictaion, plant transport and plant products.
3. Practical Biology and Research Skills
Research into a biological issue
Assessment: coursework (2,000-word research document)
A2 Course Content
The A2 course comprises a further three modules:
4. The Natural Environment and Species Survival
You will study photosynthesis, evolution, DNA profiling, infectious diseases and global warming.
5. Energy, Exercise and Co-ordination
You will study respiration, homeostasis, the nervous system, brain structure, exercise, hormones and the Human Genome Project.
6. Practical Investigation
Individual practical investigation into an aspect of Biology
Assessment: coursework (mini scientific paper)
Is Biology for you?
You will enjoy and benefit from Biology if you:
- are fascinated by the way that living organisms function and how they have evolved to do this;
- are equally happy with a theoretical and a practical approach to your studies;
- are happy working both individually and in small groups on research projects;
- would like to investigate practical applications of Biology.
Biology and your future
A wide range of medical and health-related careers both practical and research-based are available to Biology students Some university courses in medical and biological subjects also need AS or A level Chemistry. Physics and/or Maths may be useful if you are interested in a research career. Biology is a good basis for Sports Science courses (with A level Physical Education or National Diploma Sport), and for some Psychology degrees (with A level Psychology).
Visits and Vistors
There is a range of trips and visits from external speakers, including a day trip to Wicken Fen and a residential field trip.