Biology - A Level - Year 1

Biology is the study of living organisms and how they interact with each other and the environment they live in. During this course you will study and learn about a wide range of biological concepts. In the first year key areas you will cover include Biological Molecules, Enzymes, Health and Disease and Evolution. In the second year your knowledge will further develop in areas including Respiration, Photosynthesis, Excretion and Genetics. A range of teaching approaches will be used to help develop your independent study and research skills such as presentations, group work and self-evaluation activities.

Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to participate in a range of biological and ecological investigations and as a result you should develop a number of practical skills. These include a good understanding of how to use common biological apparatus such as light microscopes, pipettes, water baths, spirometers, DNA gel electrophoresis and bio viewers, and an appreciation of control variables and setting up effective investigations.

How will I be assessed?

You will be externally assessed by completing 3 examinations at the end of the 2 year course. You will need to sit an internally set exam at the end of the 1st year and dependent on results and progress on the course you will then continue onto the 2nd year of study.

As well as this, over the 2 year period you will complete a number of practical activities in class in order to develop your investigation skills for your Practical Endorsement, which will be awarded alongside your A Level grade. These skills will be informally assessed during the lessons and then examined in a practical based exam paper at the end of the course as stated above. During term time your progress will be monitored with end of topic exams, quizzes and various other assessments to include independent work and home work tasks.

What do I need?

You will need to achieve at least 5 GCSEs – 2 at Grade 6 including Double Science or Biology and 3 at Grade 5 including Maths.

Where can it take me?

  • Halesowen College - you can progress to an exciting range of higher level courses including Applied Biology HNC/D.
  • University - related degrees including a wide range of Biology based degrees such as Biochemistry, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Geology, Pharmacy, Zoology, Plant Biology and Psychology.
  • Careers - This course is ideal if you wish to pursue a career in Medical Science, Ecology, Dentistry, Biochemistry, Pharmacy or Nursing.

Additional information

For many degrees work experience is vital as part of your application and you should be thinking about this in advance, particularly if you are interested in studying any Medical, Veterinary, Dentistry or Pharmacy courses.

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