Fancy becoming a forensics expert, examining the crime scene, looking for vital evidence? Perhaps you'd love to play a role in tackling climate change and avoiding environmental catastrophe. If so, one subject will be instrumental to your success: biology.
Through the varied and engaging online learning materials of this A-level Biology course, you'll study life itself, from microscopic organisms to entire food chains and ecosystems. You'll delve into the structure of plant and animal cells in minute detail, explore evolution and natural selection, investigate the ground-breaking science of gene therapy and much more.
What you'll learn
Unit 1 - Biological molecules
This module will explore how the cells of all living things share some of the same compounds, such as carbohydrates, enzymes, proteins and even water! You’ll learn about how different biological molecules interact and their roles in maintaining life.
Unit 2 - Cells
All life on Earth exists as cells and they all have basic features in common, such as how they arise, what they’re made of and how they communicate between cells. In this section of your biology A-level course, you’ll learn how the interaction between different types of cells is involved in disease, recovery from disease and the immune system’s response.
Unit 3 - Organisms exchange substances with their environment
In this section, you’ll discover how the internal environment of an organism’s cell is different from its external environment. You’ll learn about how the exchange of substances takes place across cell plasma membranes and how some cells carry substances across the body or within their environment.
Unit 4 - Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
In this module of A-level Biology, you’ll develop knowledge about biological diversity as a result of genetic factors, environmental factors, or a combination of both. You’ll learn about DNA sequences and how they carry genetic information to create variation between organisms. You’ll then explore what influences genetic diversity, such as natural selection.
Unit 5 - Energy transfers in and between organisms
Life depends on continuous transfers of energy. To understand how that works, this module will teach you all about the process of both respiration and photosynthesis. You’ll also explore where these processes occur in different organisms, including plants and animals, bacteria and fungi.
Unit 6 - Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
In this section of your online A-level Biology course, you’ll learn about how organisms respond to a stimulus, that is detected by a receptor and responded to with an effector! These responses to stimulus include electrical impulses through nerve cells and the release of chemical messengers.
Unit 7 - Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
The theory of evolution explains how all-new species arise from an existing species and share common ancestors. This module will teach you how genetic variation occurs between species and populations due to both genetic and environmental factors, such as natural selection.
Unit 8 - The control of gene expression
Even though cells within an organism carry genetic code, not all of it is translated. There are many factors that control the expression of genes, including external and environmental factors. In this last module, you’ll discover how we are learning to alter this gene expression for medical purposes.
AQA qualifications are internationally recognised and taught in 30 countries around the world, highly valued by employers and universities and enable young people to progress to the next stage of their lives. AQA qualifications suit a range of abilities and include GCSE courses, IGCSE courses and A-level courses.
Upon successfully passing your exams, you will receive an A-level in Biology (7402), issued by AQA. Your certificate is identical to those issued to students at any other school, college, or university.
It is strongly recommended that learners who enrol on this course have a GCSE or equivalent in Biology (minimum grade 5-6 / grade B) and chemistry (minimum grade 4 / grade C) OR Double or Triple Science (minimum grade 5-6 / grade B) and Maths (minimum grade 4 / grade C). This course is a difficulty level three: the equivalent difficulty of an A-level or BTEC, usually suitable for most learners of all ages.
How is this course assessed or examined?
You can enrol now for A-level Biology examinations for Summer 2024.
You'll be required to complete three standard A-level Biology written exams:
- Paper 1: 2 hours, 35% of A-level, 91 marks.
- Paper 2: 2 hours, 35% of A-level, 91 marks.
- Paper 3: 2 hours, 30% of A-level, 78 marks.
These exams contain a mixture of short and long answer questions and extended response questions.