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Why study Biology?

Biology is the study of living things (including humans) and how they interact with the environment. A level Biology appeals to students who enjoy science and are naturally inquisitive about the human body and the natural world and the myriad organisms that populate our diverse planet. The Biology studied at A level provides a solid background for most science based degree courses. It is required to at least AS level by some universities for courses in medicine, dentistry, natural sciences and biological sciences. A level Biologists have a wide variety options when choosing which subject to read at university. Examples include; genetics, environmental science, ecology, bio-medical science, veterinary science, marine biology and zoology to mention but a few.

What will I study?

AS B1 Biology & Disease




The digestive system & Enzymes

Principles of immunology

  • Proteins
  • Enzyme action
  • Enzyme properties
  • Carbohydrate digestion

Plasma membranes and the exchange of materials between cells.

  • Cells
  • Plasma membranes
  • Diffusion
  • Osmosis
  • Active transport
  • Absorption
  • Cholera

The lungs of a mammal.

  • Lung function
  • The biological basis of lung disease
  • Heart structure and function
  • The biological basis of heart disease

Mammalian blood & defensive functions.

AS B2 The variety of organisms

Genetic variation & environmental variation.

  • Investigating variation
  • Causes of variation
  • DNA is an information-carrying molecule.
  • Structure of DNA
  • Genes and polypeptides
  • DNA and chromosomes
  • Meiosis

DNA & genetic diversity.

  • Genetic diversity

The variety of life.

  • Haemoglobin
  • Carbohydrates
  • Cells

Cell cycle.

  • Replication of DNA
  • Mitosis
  • Cell cycle

Tissues, Organs and Systems.

  • Cell differentiation


  • Size and surface area
  • Gas exchange
  • Mass transport
  • The blood system
  • The passage of water through a plant

Classification of organisms

  • Principles of taxonomy
  • Genetic comparisons
  • DNA
  • Proteins
  • Behaviour

Adaptation and selection.

  • Antibiotics
  • Genetic variation in bacteria


  • Species diversity
  • Index of diversity

The lessons will be a mixture of teacher-led activities, practical experimental work and student presentations. At times you will be expected to work in a group and at other times individually. There is an examination in January called B1 (33%), an exam in June called B2 (47%) and an externally marked practical assessment EMPA (20%).