Select Page

Biology

Biology involves the study of a wide range of exciting topics; from molecular biology to the study of ecosystems and from micro-organisms to mammals.
What is Biology?

A-level Biology is available as a two-year or a one-year course, depending on prior learning. It is taught through a combination of practical and theory sessions, using interactive materials to bring up-to-the- minute information into lessons. Teaching of a new A-level specification began in September 2015. In the first year of this specification you’ll study four main topics: “Biological molecules”, “Cells”, “Organisms exchange substances with their environment” and “Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms.” Most students will take the AS exams at the end of their first year, even if they plan on completing the full A-level course. In your second year you will build on this solid foundation of biological knowledge. The four topics you will study are “Energy transfer”, “Organisms respond the changes in their environment”, “Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems” and “The control of gene expression”. Over the course of these two years you will be carrying out a minimum of twelve practical assessments. Your practical skills will earn you a ‘practical endorsement’ from the exam board and will be tested in the written exams.
 
The one-year course is popular with graduates who want to apply for medicine or dentistry, as well as students who may have taken A or AS level Biology before and are seeking to improve their grade. The one-year group has more teaching time per week.
 
In addition to these courses, any student applying for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or Dentistry has the opportunity to join ‘Medsoc’ which helps to prepare students for all aspects of their application.

What is Biology at DLD?

A Level Biology is available as a two-year or a one-year course, depending on prior learning. It is taught through a combination of practical and theory sessions, using interactive materials to bring up-to-theminute information into lessons. Teaching of a new A-level specification begins in September 2015. In the first year of this specification you’ll study four main topics: “Biological molecules”, “Cells”, “Organisms exchange substances with their environment” and “Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms.” Most students will take the AS exams at the end of their first year, even if they plan on completing the full A-level course. In your second year you will build on this solid foundation of biological knowledge. The four topics you will study are “Energy transfer”, “Organisms respond the changes in their environment”, “Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems” and “The control of gene expression”. Over the course of these two years you will be carrying out a minimum of twelve practical assessments. Your practical skills will earn you a ‘practical endorsement’ from the exam board and will be tested in the written exams.
 
Students starting the A2-Biology or one-year Biology course in September 2015, will be following the legacy specifications. In the A2 units you’ll study two main topics: “Populations and environment” and “Control in cells and organisms”. You will also carry out an exam-board set practical assignment which is designed to sharpen your investigative skills.
 
The one-year course is popular with graduates who want to apply for medicine or dentistry, as well as students who may have taken A or AS level Biology before and are seeking to improve their grade. The one-year group has more teaching time per week. In addition to the legacy A2 specifications, one-year students will also study the legacy AS units which cover “Biology and disease” and “The variety of living organisms”. In addition there will be another exam-board set practical assignment that covers AS topics.
 
In addition to these courses, any student applying for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or Dentistry has the opportunity to join ‘Medsoc’ which helps to prepare students for all aspects of their application.

How is it assessed?
AS Exams Weighting Format
Paper 1 50% Written exam (1hr 30 min)
Paper 2 50% Written exam (1hr 30 min)

 

A-level Exams Weighting Format
Paper 1 35% Written exam (2 hours)
Paper 2 35% Written exam (2 hours)
Paper 3 30% Written exam (2 hours)

 
Exam Board: AQA

What do I need?

An interest in the living world and a desire to discover more about it

Enthusiasm to study Biology in much greater depth than you did at GCSE level

Grade C or above in GCSE Biology, Dual Award Science or equivalent qualification

Good subject combinations

A Level Biology is one of the most popular subjects in the country, attracting students taking a wide variety of other subjects. A Level Biology is often chosen alongside another science and/or Maths and Computer Science. Geography is another popular choice, as there is overlap with the areas of ecology and physical geography. However, Biology works as a “standalone” science, and attracts students taking subjects as diverse as Art, Psychology, Sociology and Music.

After DLD

Many students go on to a biologically-related degree course such as Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Optometry, Nursing, Marine Biology, Zoology or Forensic Science. Biotechnology and pharmacology are growing industries employing many Biology graduates. Biologists are vitally important in such areas as food production, ecology and cell biology. Others choose careers as diverse as law, computing, accounting or teaching. The skills of experimentation, logical analysis and evaluation learned in Biology have uses that transcend subject boundaries and are helpful in many career areas.

Questions

Q Can I do the course in one year?
A Yes providing you meet certain criteria. Many of our one-year students are graduates or those with A levels who wish to apply for medicine at university
 
Q Will I need to complete a coursework project out of lesson time?
A No. Your practical work assignment is all completed in normal lesson time
 
Q Will I have to go on a residential field course?
A No. Fieldwork is undertaken during day or half-day visits in and around London

Entry Requirements for international students

To study A Levels, your current or pending exam results should be equivalent to or higher than GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) in at least 5 subjects and a minimum level of English equivalent to IELTS 5.0.
 
At the start of each academic year of study students following an A-Level course without a pass at grade C in GCSE or IGCSE English Language or with an Academic English score below 6.5 overall must join an Academic English training course for the duration of the academic year which will be timetabled alongside A-Level lessons.
 
If your level of English is not sufficient to meet the entry criteria for the A-Level programme you will normally be offered a place on the Abbey DLD Colleges One Year Pre-sessional (Pre A-Level) in order to bring your English skills up to the required level.

I was nervous about studying A level Biology, but with the support and guidance of my teachers and classmates I am now very confident and even have a new favourite subject.

Emileline Pedersen, Current DLD student

Share This