Biology can lead to further study in areas as diverse as Marine Biology, Genetics, Physiology, Micro-Biology or Biochemistry. Future careers are wide and varied but include all aspects of work in hospitals from doctor to speech therapist to lab assistant. Research, forensics, teaching and biotechnology are all possible.
Biology is the study of how animals, plants and micro-organisms work, as well as how they interact with their environment. Have you ever wondered how the body fights disease or why DNA is such an important molecule? Have you known someone with a genetic disorder or enjoyed the diversity of life on a safari or when scuba diving? A level Biology can help you find out more about these and other questions about your body or the natural world. Biology introduces a vast array of sophisticated scientific terminology from phylogeny to operon, to eukaryotae to apoplastic! A love of words is therefore a useful pre-requisite.
The first weeks of the AS re-examine the structure and function of cells, building on the simple models studied at GCSE. The first unit also covers Physiology in animals and plants with particular focus on the breathing and circulatory systems. Later on in the year you will build models of organic molecules to help you work out why molecules such as DNA and cellulose behave in the way they do. We will also look at the detail of immunity and why biodiversity is so important to our survival.
The Physiology covered at A2 covers the working of the nervous system, liver and kidney. You will try modern techniques of electrophoresis (used in genetic engineering) and tissue culture to clone cauliflowers. Genetic inheritance is covered with the help of computer simulations about drosophila. Biochemistry of the 2 most important reactions for life (respiration and photosynthesis) followed by ecosystems finish off this well balanced course
Assessment is through both written examinations and practical coursework. Application of knowledge and skills rather than direct recall is a significant part of the written exams.