JamesBiology, Chemistry, Mathematics
"The teachers really encouraged me and helped me to get 3 A's and win a place at King's College London."
What board do we do? Edexcel Alevel Code: 9BI01
What is Biology?
As a science, Biology is a subject devoted to the study of living organisms. It also includes, virology – the study of viruses. Biology as a subject is extremely fascinating and in the 21st Century it is one of the most rapidly developing sciences, especially in the fields of genomics, proteomics and personalized medicine. Because it is such a broad subject it has many sub-disciplines, which some people find more interesting than others. For examples, some students are excited by biochemistry and molecular biology, while others prefer the physiological approach, evolutionary science or ecology. In A level Biology most of these disciplines are touched upon. Having some biological literacy is now quite important as so many issues in the media and commerce have a biological basis, such as stem cell technology or new developments in molecular biology or medicine.
Which subjects combine well with Biology?
Biology combines well with other scientific subjects such as Chemistry and Mathematics/Physics. It also can be studied in conjunction with some arts subjects. Biology has become a computational subject in the 21st Century, so combining it with Mathematics is always a good move.
What careers and University courses can Biology lead to?
Biology is important if a student wants to study a medically-related discipline or Life Sciences. Biology is generally required for medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, and pharmacy. Biology is important for all Life Sciences, including Biochemistry, Immunology, Microbiology, Informatics and Genomics, Physiology and Agricultural Science. Many careers have biology as their core discipline. Careers such as professional ecologists, biochemists, forensic science, the pharmaceutical industry and many more, all need an in-depth knowledge of key areas of biology.
As Unit 1: Lifestyle, Transport, Genes and Health (6BI01) 40% of As, 20% of A level
You will understand the importance of biological molecules such as water, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids and proteins. You will learn about DNA replication, protein synthesis and gain an understanding of the biological importance of enzymes. You will also learn about diseases such as cardiovascular disease and genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis.
As Unit 2: Voice of the Genome & Biodiversity and Natural Resources (6BI02) 40% of As, 20% of A level
You will cover: cell ultra-structure; how cells make organisms; reproduction; growth and the development of the embryo; plant cells and its components; plants and their economic roles; biodiversity and the ecology
As Unit 3: Practical Biology & Research Skills. (6BI03) 20& of As, 10% of A level
Students write a report of between 1500 and 2000 words, either a record of a visit to a site of biological interest or a report of research into a biological topic.
A2 Unit 4: The Natural Environment and Species Survival (6BI04) 40% of A2 marks, 20% of A level
You will cover: photosynthesis; how ecosystems function; global warming and its effects; speciation; gene mutation; evolution; forensic science; microorganisms and disease; antibiotics and pathogens.
A2 Unit 5: Exercise, Energy and Coordination (6BI05) 40% of A2 marks, 20% of A level
The last unit covers: cellular respiration; muscles and movement; the heart, physiology and exercise; exercise and sport; neurology; brain and behaviour; plant physiology and responses; the brain, genome and medicine.
Unit 6: Practical Biology and Investigative Skills (6BI06) 20% of A2 marks, 10% of A level
Students will complete a written report of an experimental investigation, which they have devised and carried out.
Book List AS & Intensive
*Edexcel Biology for AS: Ann Fullick
(Pearson: ISBN 978-1405896320)
*Edexcel Biology for AS: C J Clegg
(Hodder Education: ISBN 978-0340966235)