Skip to content ↓

Biology

 

What board do we do?  Edexcel B (9B10).  We run the Edexcel course as it flows nicely from the GCSE courses we study. Students will complete similar core practicals and will be familiar with the resources that are used.

Entry Requirements: It is recommended that students achieve a Grade 6 or above in Biology or 6-6 or above in Combined Science and Grade 6 in Maths.

What is Biology?
Biology is the study of living organisms and how they interact with each other and their Environments. Biology is really a multidisciplinary subject that is made of many and interdependent fields. Biology explores how living systems are constructed, as well as how they develop, communicate, interact, reproduce, defend themselves, and shape the biophysical environment around them. Biologists are constantly looking to understand links between different disciplines of biology and in this sense evolution is a unifying concept in biology.

At the Advanced Level, the subject is made up of major core components such as cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, genetics, ecology and evolution. Biology really is the science that is undergoing an incredible and exciting revolution in our understanding, one that started in the 20th Century with the elucidation of the structure of DNA, and now continues in the 21st century with the completion of the Human Genome Project, and the emergence of disciplines such as proteomics, genomics and synthetic biology.  The subject of biology is never dull or static. For example, there is incredible excitement and anticipation around projects such as the USAs BRAIN Initiative and the EU’s Human Brain Project, both of which seek to unravel And brain’s neuronal map.  

Students who study biology at A level learn the fundamentals of the cell, biochemistry, ecology, physiology and other key elements of the subject so that they can go on to study subjects at degree level such as agriculture, biochemistry, biomedical science, genetics, ecology, medicine, dentistry, neurology, physiology and zoology.  Whatever you study, biology at Advanced level will be hard work, but always fascinating, engaging and relevant to you, and above all, this planet.

What subjects combine well with Biology?
Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Psychology

What can studying Biology lead to, and why is it important?
Careers in medicine and medically-related disciplines, such as pharmacy or pharmacology, medical genetics, virology, parasitology, immunology, and medical microbiology, all require knowledge of Biology. Biology is an important component for most psychology degrees, owing to cognitive and abnormal psychology components.  Biology is also important if someone wants to become a forensic scientist, ecologist or biomedical technical scientist. Furthermore, the subject is relevant for those who wish to study radiography or operate CT or fMRI scanners in a clinical setting. In short, the subject of biology is important as the basis for a wide range of biologically and medically-related careers and provides students with a balance of skill sets including, the scientific method, observation, data analysis and statistics, and understanding correlations and causal relationships.

It is also a facilitating A-level, which means that universities consider A-level Biology to be a rigorous course and demonstrates your abilities as a learner.

 

A level Biology (Edexcel 9B10)

This is a two-year course that contains 10 topics:

 Topic 1:                 Biological Molecules

Topic 2:                Cells, Viruses, and Reproduction of Living Things

Topic 3:                Classification and Biodiversity

Topic 4:                Exchange and Transport

Topic 5:                Energy for Biological Processes

Topic 6:                Microbiology and Pathogens

Topic 7:                Modern Genetics

Topic 8:                  Origins of genetic variation

Topic 9:                  Control systems

Topic 10:                Ecosystems

Students are expected to carry out 16 core practical experiments.

The specification consists of three externally examined papers and the Science Practical Endorsement.

Paper 1: Advanced Biochemistry, Microbiology and Genetics (30% of the total qualification)

Assessment is 1 hour 45 minutes

The paper will include multi-choice, short open, open-response, calculations and extended writing questions

Paper 2: Advanced Physiology, Evolution and Ecology (30% of the total qualification)

Assessment is 1 hour 45 minutes

The paper will include multi-choice, short open, open-response, calculations and extended writing questions

Paper 3: General and Practical Principles in Biology (40% of the total qualification)

Assessment is 2 hour 30 minutes

The paper will include multi-choice, short open, open-response, calculations and extended writing questions. It will also include synoptic questions.

 

How will you learn with us?

You will have two specialist Biology Teachers, having 4 lessons with each a fortnight. These will include high quality teaching in the dedicated Biology lab, combining theory, modelling, practical investigations and much more.  We also run a 2-day field trip covering 2 of our larger Core Practicals, where you will get opportunities to plan and carry out your own ecological investigations.