A Level Biology provides a sound base for any degree course in the biological sciences as well as many more non-science degree courses. The subject itself provides career opportunities in environmental work, medicine, nursing as well as many other related areas such as sports science and physiotherapy. It lays the foundations for future studies, yet provides a satisfying and relevant modern course for those who will take science no further.
Course content includes:
- Biological molecules: Despite their great variety, the cells of all living organisms contain only a few groups of carbon-based compounds that interact in similar ways - monomers and polymers, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, ATP, water and inorganic ions.
- Cells: the structure of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells and viruses; methods of studying cells; transport across cell membranes through diffusion, osmosis, active transport and co-transport; cell recognition and the immune system, including antigens, pathogens and antibodies.
- Organisms exchange substances with their environment: surface area to volume ratio, gas exchange, digestion and absorption, mass transport in animals and plants.
- Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms: DNA, genes and chromosomes; DNA and protein synthesis; mutation and meiosis; genetic diversity and adaptation; species and taxonomy; biodiversity within a community; investigating diversity.
- Energy transfers in and between organisms: photosynthesis; respiration; energy and ecosystems; nutrient cycles.
- Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments: stimuli that lead to a response; nervous coordination; skeletal muscle response; homeostasis.
- Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems: inheritance; populations; evolution and speciation; populations in ecosystems.
- The control of gene expression: gene mutations during DNA replication; regulation of transcription and translation; gene expression and cancer; genome sequencing; gene technologies including genetic fingerprinting.