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Science - Biology

DEPARTMENT

COURSE NAME

COURSE LEADER

EXAM BOARD

QUALIFICATION

Science Biology Mr Browning AQA A level

Entry Qualifications

The minimum entrance requirement is a grade 7 (A) in the GCSE Additional Science and 6 (B) in GCSE Core Science.  For those students who have studied the separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSEs, they must achieve a minimum of 6,6,6 (BBB).  Students also need a grade 5 in English Language and a grade 6 in Maths.

Course Content

At Bishopshalt School students follow the AQA Biology course (7401).  Biology A level is a linear course which means that students will sit internal exams at the end of Year 12 and AQA A level exams at the end of Year 13. 

The content of the course builds on topics studied at GCSE, but these are delivered with much greater depth at A level.  The content will include:

Year 12

  1. Biological molecules
  2. Cells
  3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

    Year 13

    Energy transfers in and between organisms  

  5. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments  
  6. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems  
  7. The control of gene expression  

    Assessment

A level

  • Paper 1: Topics 1-4, including relevant practical skills.
  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 91 marks (35% of A level)
  • Paper 2: Topics 5–8, including relevant practical skills.
  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 91 marks (35% of A level)
  • Paper 3: Any content from topics 1–8, including relevant practical skills.
  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 78 marks
  • 30% of A level

There is a total minimum exam time of 6 hours for the A level.  Students will be awarded a separate endorsement of practical skills, which will be assessed by teachers.  This will not be graded.  If students pass, it will be reported on their certificates.  Knowledge and understanding of practical work will be assessed in written exams.  About 15% of total marks in the A level exams will be based on practical questions.

Progression and Careers

Many students go on to study a Biology related degree at university such as Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Nursing, Criminology, Environmental Sciences, Teaching and university research, Pharmacy to name but a few.

Exam Board

AQA

Contact Name

For further information, please see Mr Browning – Head of Biology.