How long is the course?
The course is 1 year if you wish to complete just the AS qualification, or 2 years if you wish to complete the whole A level.
Who is the course for?
Biology is a great choice of subject for people who want to study biology or biology-related subjects at university, and is essential for many careers in the health and clinical professions. However, whatever field you will eventually work in, you will find biology a very rewarding and challenging course which will develop many of the skills essential for a successful career.
How will I be assessed?
The AS level assessment consists of two 1.5 hour examinations that cover topics 1 to 4 of the specification (see ‘What will I be studying?’ below). Each is worth 50% of your final grade and will contain questions that cover both the theory and any practical work you have completed to supplement this. Both examinations will be taken in June 2015. The A level assessment consists of three 2 hour examinations: one examining topics 1 to 4 (covered in AS), the second examining topics 5-8 and the third a synoptic paper covering all the material from the two years of study. The final A level examination also covers experimental work and includes an essay question. The first examinations for this will be in June 2016.
What could I do after the course?
An A level in Biology can lead to further scientific at university, such as courses in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, physiotherapy, pharmacy, optometry, nursing, zoology, marine biology or forensic science, to name but a few, and will award you UCAS points that can of course be used to access any degree of your choice. The qualification can also lead to careers in health and clinical professions that do not necessarily require a degree such as veterinary nursing, health care assistant work, laboratory assistant work and zoo keeping.
What will I be studying?
1. Biological molecules
3. Organisms’ exchange with their environment
4. Genetic information, variation and the relationships between organisms
5. Energy transfer in and between organisms
6. Organisms’ response to changes in internal and external environments
7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
8. Control of gene expression