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Biology

AQA A Level Biology

Biology is an exciting area to study. It is a rapidly changing field, presenting new challenges to modern biologists. As you progress through your Biology course, you will study life from the smallest units, including genes and organelles, to whole ecosystems. You will be examining not just observations made, but the mechanisms behind them and will develop a wide range of transferrable skills including clear communication, data analysis and presentation.

Course Overview

Autumn and Spring terms:

  • Module 1 – Biological molecules. All living organisms share a few carbon-based compounds, this unit focuses on these compounds and their importance.
  • Module 2 – Cells. This module investigates the different components of cells and their function, and how different cells interact with each other.
  • Module 3 – Organisms exchange substances with their environment. This unit includes exchange surfaces, transport in animals and transport in plants.
  • Module 4 – Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms. Topics include DNA, genetic diversity and biodiversity.

Summer term:

  • Completion of practical activities for Year 12
  • Preparation in use of Scientific language and exam technique
  • Commencement of Year 13 work in June, after the end of year assessment

 

Practical work:

Practical work is assessed and carried out over the year in six required practical activities. These contribute to a pass/fail practical endorsement and do not affect the final letter grade.

Assessment:

End of topic testing on recent and previous work.

Mock exam and end of year exam in exam conditions, following this format:

Paper 1 – 50%

  • Content from modules 1 to 4 plus practical activities
  • 75 marks – 1 hour 30 mins
  • 65 marks are short answer and 10 marks: comprehension question

Paper 2 – 50%

  • Content from modules 1 to 4 plus practical activities
  • 75 marks – 1 hour 30 mins
  • 65 marks are short answer and 10 marks: comprehension question

Resources

 http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402

Useful Information

This qualification is linear; students will sit all their exams at the end of their A-level course.

Entry requirements:

Grade 6 in Biology or Grade 6,6 in Combined Science.

Grade 6 in Mathematics

Grade 5 in English

Future Opportunities

Progression to University or modern apprenticeship:

A-level Biology is a great choice for people who want a career in health and clinical professions, including Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Physiotherapy, Nursing and Forensic Science.

Many universities also offer biological science courses such as: Molecular Biology; Cell Biology; Biochemistry; Botany; Zoology; Parasitology; Marine science; Genetics; Immunology; Virology; Pharmacology; and many more.

Other employment opportunities:

Most Biology-related jobs would require a Biology-related degree; however employers are looking for a science A level as an indication of analytical skills, so some Biology students choose careers in, for example, economics, business; the Civil Service; management and marketing.

 

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