Course Overview

This is a two-year course. After the first year, students can gain an AS in Biology, as a possible ‘stand alone’ qualification (AS). They can then progress onto the second year of the course in order to gain the full A level in Biology.

The WJEC Biology AS course is a good balance of traditional Biology and more modern topics. It reinforces a lot of GCSE work, provides a firm grounding in the subject and supports the other Sciences and Mathematics as well. Opportunities are provided to develop practical skills, techniques and procedures.

The A2 course provides an in-depth coverage of fundamental areas of physiology and biological theory. Practical skills are improved by experimental work and a residential field trip.

AS Level (year 1)
Unit 1: Basic Biochemistry and Cell Organisation
The unit covers: cell structure and function, cell organelles – their structure and function, structure and replication of DNA, biological molecules, and cell membranes.

This unit covers: cell differentiation, transport in plants and animals, the digestion system, variation, biodiversity, classification and evolution, and animal behaviour.

A Level (year 2)
Unit 3: Energy, Homeostasis and the Environment
This unit covers: respiration and photosynthesis, energy transfer and food production, and regulation of internal environments including blood sugar and temperature regulation.

Unit 4: Variation, Inheritance, and Immunology and Disease
This unit covers: variation, selection, genetic inheritance, gene expression and gene cloning, immunology and disease.

Unit 5: Investigative and Practical Skills in A2 Biology
This includes an externally marked laboratory-based exam.

Examinations are in May and June.

The full A Level in Biology provides the basis for students who wish to proceed to Higher Education to study biology, medicine, veterinary science and other scientific careers. It is also a route to nursing, teaching, physiotherapy and laboratory-based work, as well as linking directly with environmental science and sustainability.

6 grade C’s at GCSE, including grade BB in Double Award GCSE Science OR grade B in higher tier Biology, a Grade B in GCSE Maths and a grade B in GCSE English.

A grade B in a discursive subject like History, Religious Studies or English Literature can be used as an alternative for English.