Biologists study the natural world, understanding how all living things – humans, animals and plants – function and how they interact with the world around them. The problem-solving, research and analytical skills you will develop on this course are all skills that will help you with further study at university and in the world of work.
If you want to pursue a career for example in Medicine, Genetics, Dentistry, Pharmaceuticals, Forensic science, Biochemistry, Biomedical sciences, Environmental science, Zoology or Oceanography, then studying A Level Biology is a vital first step.
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A Level Biology (UK) is available to UK based students only since it is set only in the UK. It builds directly on the work you will have done for IGCSE/GCSE in the subject. Grade B or 6 at IGCSE/GCSE is required before starting on the A Level. Due to the knowledge of Mathematics and Chemistry required, we also recommend that you have Grade B or 6 in both Chemistry and Maths at IGCSE or equivalent before embarking on this subject. Wolsey Hall offers the relevant IGCSE courses should you need further prior study. All students undertaking Wolsey Hall A levels must also have IGCSE in English Language at Grade C or 4.
A Level Biology (UK) will prepare you for the Edexcel Advanced Level syllabus, 8BN0 (for the standalone AS qualification) or 9BN0 (for the full A Level). This is the Salters-Nuffield A syllabus.
For the standalone AS in Biology, you will take: Paper 1: Lifestyle, Transport, Genes and Health (code 8BN0/01) worth 50% of your overall AS grade. 80 marks. (1 hour and 30 minutes) Paper 2: Development, Plants and the Environment (code 8BN0/02) worth 50% of your overall AS grade. 80 marks. (1 hour and 30 minutes)
For the full A Level in Biology, you will take the following 3 papers: Paper 1: The Natural Environment and Species Survival (code 9BN0/01) worth 33.33% of your overall A Level grade. 100 marks. (2 hours) Paper 2: Energy, Exercise and Co-ordination (code 9BN0/02) worth 33.33% of your overall A Level grade. 100 marks. (2 hours) Paper 3: General and Practical Applications in Biology (code 9BN0/03) is worth 33.33% of your overall A Level grade. 100 marks. (2 hours) Questions in Paper 3 may draw on two or more different topics. The paper will also include questions that target the conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods. There will also be a scientific article released 8 weeks before the exam, which will underpin one section of the paper.
A Level Biology (UK) contains a separate Practical Endorsement, which is an assessment of your skills and competency when completing a minimum of 12 A Level core practicals. The result (either ‘pass’ or ‘fail’) of the Practical Endorsement will be reported separately on your A Level certificate, alongside your overall grade for theory.
You will need to arrange to take this component of the course at an examination centre which offers this option, and you will need to take the written exam at that same centre. You will find a list of centres that facilitate the Practical Endorsement here.
I'm originally from New York and have taught widely in the UK. I'm also an OCR and CIE examiner and moderator so have a clear understanding of the Cambridge exams and what is required.BSc, PGCE Subject: Science, Biology & Chemistry View Profile
Science is awesome! I’ve been a fan of science in general, and biology in particular, my entire life. I look forward to communicating with my students, so, if you have any questions please contact me!BSc Subject: Biology, Physics and Science View Profile