Biology is a vital subject for anyone who is thinking of working in health care, pharmaceuticals, the food industry, environmental science and a wide range of other careers. Biology is the science of life. Biology involves the study of a wide range of exciting topics, ranging from molecular biology to the study of ecosystems and from micro-organisms to mammoths. Biology is never far from the headlines either. The human genome has been sequenced and we know the complete arrangement of the three million bases that make up human DNA. In Kenya 30 people die every day from AIDS and in South East Asia the skies are dark with smoke as the last Bornean rainforests are burned to grow palms. Biologists are concerned with all these issues.
All students studying for A Level would be expected to have five GCSEs at grade C or above (grade 5 or above) in academic subjects, including GCSE English Language, of which two must be B grades (grade 6). In order to do Biology, you must have either GCSE Double Science at double B (grade 6) or above or GCSE Biology and GCSE Chemistry at B (grade 6) or above and GCSE Maths at B (grade 6). You must also have a total GCSE points score of 30 in your best five academic subjects.
Biology A Level is split into six modules: Modules 1 to 4 constitute the stand-alone AS Level qualification; Modules 1 to 6, combined with the Practical Endorsement, constitute the full A Level.
The modules can be summarised as:
1. Development of practical skills in biology
2. Foundations in biology
3. Exchange and transport
4. Biodiversity, evolution and disease
5. Communications, homeostasis and energy
6. Genetics, evolution and ecosystems
Both AS and A Level Biology are assessed through a series of written examinations. There is no course work involved.
AS Level: AS Papers 1 and 2 can assess any content from Modules 1 to 4
A Level: A Level Paper 1 assesses the content from Modules 1, 2, 3 and 5
A Level Paper 2 assesses the content from Modules 1, 2, 4 and 6
A Level Paper 3 assesses the content from Modules 1 to 6.
The study of biology is useful in a wide range of careers such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, nursing, biomedical science, biological sciences, marine biology, nutrition, chiropractic, physiotherapy and many more.
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