What is A level Biology?
Biology is the study of living organisms, from the molecular biology of virus replication to the study of animals and plants in their natural habitats. Biology is a fascinating subject and includes all the traditional areas of biology as well as the advances in areas such as epigenetics recombinant DNA technology.
Why study this course?
Biology has a wide range of interesting applications in research, health areas and the environment. Many of our students continue their study of biology at university in such diverse fields as marine biology, immunology, genetics, radiography, environmental health, biomedical sciences and pharmacology. Most medical courses now demand that students have A level biology. The transferable analytical and evaluation skills acquired in the study of biology are an excellent preparation for a wider range of courses.
What can you expect from A level Biology?
The biology course covers a diverse range of topics from the fundamental biological processes and mechanisms at the molecular level in plants, animals and bacteria to whole ecosystems. The course will nurture a passion for biology and lay the groundwork for further study in courses like biological sciences, medicine and dentistry. Biology has a strong practical element and you will have plenty of opportunities to study biological concepts in our laboratories during your two-year course.
How is the course assessed?
Assessment is through examinations at the end of the two years. There are three two- hour papers: Paper 1 - Any content from topics 1– 4, including relevant practical skills Paper 2 - Any content from topics 5–8 including relevant practical skills Paper 3 - Any content from topics 1–8, including relevant practical skills There is no coursework for this subject.
Who is this course for?
If you have a particular interest in life sciences, with strong numeracy and literacy skills and aim to go on to study a biological-science related degree, this may be the subject for you.
5 GCSEs at grades 4–9, across four separate subjects, to include GCSE mathematics and/or English/English language. In addition, a grade 6-6 or above is required in combined science on the higher tier or a 6 in biology. Also, a grade 5 is required in GCSE mathematics.
"Through the enthusiasm of its teachers, biology at RSFC goes above and beyond providing you with the essential knowledge and practical skills for university, challenging you to understand the complexities of nature, evolution and what makes us human."
What will I study?YEAR 1 Biological molecules, Cells, How organisms exchange substances with their environment, Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms. YEAR 2 Energy transfers in and between organisms, How organisms respond to changes in the internal and external environments, Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems, The control of gene expression.
Additional activities with this subjectThe 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
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