Biology

Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor

WHAT IS BIOLOGY?

Put simply, Biology is the study of living organisms. Biologists study every aspect of life, from the intricate workings of individual cells to the effects of humans and other organisms on the Earth’s atmosphere.

WHY STUDY THIS COURSE?

Biology is a subject where you will constantly learn interesting things about the workings of the human body and about the wider world around you. It is ideal for students who have curious minds and want to get a ‘hands on’ experience of Science. Apart from being a fascinating subject, Biology is brilliant if you want to develop your skills and make yourself an attractive candidate for universities and employers. Studying Biology will develop your mathematical skills, problem solving skills and literacy skills.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM BIOLOGY?

You will study Ecology as well as the human body and disease. Biology is a subject with significant practical and experimental content. Expect to complete regular laboratory work during your 2 year course.

HOW IS THE COURSE ASSESSED?

You will complete three examinations at the end of the two year course.

WHO IS THE COURSE SUITABLE FOR?

If you are interested in science, living things and are ready for a challenge then Biology may be the subject for you!

WHAT CAN I DO WITH AN A-LEVEL IN BIOLOGY?

A-level Biology can lead to a wide range of university and career options. A-level Biology students may choose to use their Biological knowledge to study a Science course at university or to study a healthcare related course like Medicine or Dentistry. However, many students choose to use the skills they have acquired from their Biology course in other areas of work or study.

WHAT WILL I STUDY?

Biological molecules – study of the molecules that make up living organisms e.g. proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and Nucleic acids. How are they used, how they are formed and how they are broken down?

Cells – the smallest living component of life on earth. How do they function using the organelles within? How do they form tissues and organs to form complex multicellular organisms?

Organisms exchange substances with their environment – how do we get the nutrients we need to survive? How do we get the oxygen we need? How does a fish get oxygen it needs?

Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms – what makes us different to each other as humans? What makes us different to other animals and plants?

Energy transfers in and between organisms – all energy on this planet originally comes from the sun. That energy is then changed by plants into molecules that can be stored and eaten by animals that can then transfer that energy higher up the food chain.

Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments – study of the nervous system, homeostasis, endocrine system, muscle contraction and osmoregulation.

Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems – how do characteristics get passed from generation to generation? How do mutations lead to changes in organisms over time? How do organisms interact and form stable ecosystems?

The control of gene expression – how does the body know when to make a particular protein? What ‘switches on’ our DNA?. Gene technologies are also studied such as Gel electrophoresis, PCR, gene therapy and genetic engineering.

ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES WITHIN THIS SUBJECT

The RSFC Science and Maths Honours Programme includes the college pre-medical society, which is dedicated to helping students aiming to study Medicine at university. The society works to make sure students are as well prepared as possible for the challenging applications process for Medicine courses and supports students with finding work experience.

We also offer the Science in Society and CREST honours strands. Science in Society allows students to study a wider range of issues within Science than is possible during their A level classes, whilst the CREST programme lets students undertake a research project on a topic of their choice and gives them the opportunity to work with professional scientists.

Trips available in the department include trips to Chester Zoo and the University of Manchester

Entry Requirements

  • 5 GCSE grades at A* - C, or 4 – 9, across four separate subjects, to include GCSE Mathematics and/or English/English Language.
  • In addition, a grade C or above is required in both Core and Additional Science on the higher tier or a C in Biology.