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Why study Biology?      

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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, biomedical science, veterinary science, marine biology and zoology to mention but a few.


Year 1

Biological molecules

  • Carbohydrates
  • Lipids
  • Proteins and enzymes
  • Structure of DNA and RNA
  • ATP
  • Water
  • Plasma membranes and the exchange of materials between cells.


  • Structure of eukaryotic cells
  • Structure of prokaryotic cells and viruses
  • Methods of studying cells

Organisms exchange substances with their environment

  • Surface area to volume ratio
  • Gas exchange
  • Digestion and absorption
  • Mass transport in animals
  • Mass transport in plants

Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

  • DNA, genes and chromosomes
  • DNA and protein synthesis
  • Meiosis
  • Genetic diversity and adaptation
  • Species and taxonomy
  • Biodiversity within a community
  • Investigating diversity

 Year 2

Energy transfers in and between organisms 

  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration
  • Energy and ecosystems
  • Nutrient cycles

Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments

  • Survival and response
  • Receptors
  • Control of heart rate
  • Nerve impulses
  • ·Synaptic transmission
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Principles of homeostasis and negative feedback
  • Control of blood glucose concentration
  • Control of blood water potential 

Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems

  • Inheritance
  • Populations
  • Evolution may lead to speciation
  • Populations in ecosystems

The control of gene expression 

  • Gene mutations
  • Control of gene expression
  • Regulation of transcription and translation
  • Gene expression and cancer 
  • Using genome projects
  • Recombinant DNA technology 
  • Genetic fingerprinting