Access Keys:

 
 
Kilkeel High School, Knockchree Avenue, Kilkeel

Biology A level

AIMS
 
The course encourages candidates to develop their understanding of concepts in Biology and the skills needed for the use of these in new and changing situations. An awareness of advances in technology, including Information Technology, relevant to Biology is raised. Candidates are also encouraged to recognise the responsible use of Biology in society and develop their enjoyment of, and interest in, this subject.
 
REQUIREMENTS
 
The ‘AS’ has been designed to improve the progression from GCSE to Advanced Level. It builds on the knowledge and skills developed during the study of GCSE Biology; a good level of understanding is needed to enter an ‘AS’ or ‘A’ Biology course.

Due to the Chemistry content in this course it is strongly recomended that Sixth Form pupils have obtained a good result in GCSE Chemistry before attempting Biology at this level. However undertaking 'A' level Chemistry is not a requirement.

CONTENT (2016 syllabus)

The ‘AS’ modules, contain and assess the skills, knowledge and understanding typically developed during the first year of a two-year ‘A’ level course.

The ‘A’ level examination is in two parts:

  • Advanced Subsidiary (‘AS’) - 40% of the total award
  • A second examination called A2 - 60% of the total award.

The AS and A2 courses are modular. The content is as follows:

 

Content

Content Summary

Assessment

Weightings

AS 1:

Molecules

and Cells

Molecules

Enzymes

Viruses

Cells

Cell physiology

Continuity of cells

Tissues and organs

External assessment

Written examination

1 hour 30 minutes

Students answer six to eight structured questions and write an essay.

37.5% of AS

15% of A level

AS 2:

Organisms

and Biodiversity

Transport and exchange mechanisms

The adaptation of organisms

Biodiversity

Human impact on biodiversity

External assessment

Written examination

1 hour 30 minutes

Students answer six to eight structured questions and write an essay.

37.5% of AS

15% of A level

AS 3:

Practical Skills in AS Biology

Specified practicals which support AS 1 and AS 2 content

External written examination assessing practical skills

1 hour

and

internal practical assessment (marked by teachers and moderated by CCEA)

25% of AS

10% of A level

A2 1: Physiology,

Co-ordination and Control, and Ecosystems

Homeostasis

Immunity

Co-ordination and control in plants and animals

Ecosystems

External written examination

2 hours 15 minutes

Students answer six to nine structured questions and write an essay.

24% of A level

A2 2: Biochemistry, Genetics and Evolutionary Trends

Respiration

Photosynthesis

DNA as the genetic code

Gene technology

Genes and patterns of inheritance

Population genetics

Kingdom Plantae

Kingdom Animalia

External written examination

2 hours 15 minutes

Students answer six to nine structured questions and write an essay.

24% of A level

A2 3:

Practical Skills in Biology

Specified practicals which support A2 1 and A2 2 content

External written examination assessing practical skills

1 hour 15 minutes

and

internal practical assessment (marked by teachers and moderated by CCEA)

12% of A level

Summary
 
This specification is designed to encourage candidates to develop:

  • an enthusiasm for biology
  • practical skills alongside understanding of concepts and principles
  • an appropriate and relevant foundation of knowledge and skills for the study of biology in Higher Education.

 

Some useful weblinks:

www.ccea.org.uk

http://www.biologymad.com/

http://www.dnaftb.org/dnaftb/

The http://www.biologyguide.net/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science_and_environment/