Exam Board: AQA
Course Content: Year 1
Students will start with the basic building blocks of biology by studying biological molecules and cells. This will help to explain how organisms exchange substances with their environment and finally enable a study of genetic information, variation and the relationships between organisms. We end the year with a residential field trip to Aberystwyth where students will complete two of their required practicals.
Course Content: Year 2
Building on the above content, students will go on to study energy transfers in and between organisms as well as how organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments. They will deepen their understanding of genetics looking at the control of gene expression and finally, populations, evolution and ecosystems.
This qualification is linear. Students will sit all exams at the end of their two-year course.
100% Examination across 3 papers, one of which includes an essay question. 15% of the marks available will be based on the twelve required practical activities carried out across the two years. Students who demonstrate the required standard across all the practical requirements will also receive a ‘pass’ grade for their practical endorsement alongside their A level grade.
The course provides a firm foundation for students if they wish to continue to higher education but is also held in high regard by many employers. In addition to the more obvious Biology-specific degrees such as Zoology and Genetics and Marine Biology, it is also a useful grounding (and sometimes an essential pre-requisite) for the study of many other degrees such as Biochemistry, Biomedical Science, Equine Science, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Nursing, Psychology, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy (specialists in the Science and clinical use of medications), Radiography (performing X-rays), Optometry (eye health) and Occupational Therapy (assessment and treatment of physical and psychiatric conditions).
GCSE grade 6/6 in Combined Science or a grade 6 in GCSE Biology and a grade 6 in either GCSE Chemistry or GCSE Physics. In addition, we require a GCSE grade 6 in Maths and a grade 6 in English.