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Course overview

The course offers Biology studies at a level suitable for students wishing to progress to Higher Education or to vocational work in this field.

The course consists of a broad selection of fundamental Biological concepts which build on ideas learnt at GCSE.

You will learn by experiencing a varied programme that includes laboratory work and practical skills, lectures, small group work, local fieldwork, a range of learning games and use of the college Intranet (i-site). Progress in learning will be monitored using regular assignments that will be completed in class.

What else do I need to know?

Dissections are carried out in the first and second year. Both years of the Biology course are also offered educational trips. We strongly recommend that all students purchase the relevant text book for the course. Students who enrol for Chemistry as well as Biology may also want to purchase a lab coat.

What are the entry requirements?

You will have high overall GCSEs with a minimum of five 9-4 grades, which should include three or more at grade 5 or above. Your GCSEs should include maths and English at a minimum of grade 4.
In addition, to study Biology at this level it is essential that you have at least grade 6 in GCSE Biology or 6-6 in Combined Science and a grade 5 in GCSE Maths. BTEC Science cannot be used to gain entry onto the A Level Biology programme.

How is it assessed?

Assessment is comprised of three examinations at the end of two years of study.

Paper 1 - (2 hour written exam)
1 Biological molecules
2 Cells
3 Organisms exchange substances with their environment
4 Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

Paper 2 - (2 hour written exam)
5 Energy transfers in and between organisms
6 Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
7 Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
8 The control of gene expression

Paper 3 - (2 hour written exam)
Any content from topics 1 - 8, including relevant practical skills

What financial support is on offer?

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. If you are outside this age group please contact 01782 254188.
College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £21,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit www.nscg.ac.uk/finance

What can I do next?

Successful completion of the course gives you a qualification that is accepted for entry into Higher Education for studies in a variety of scientific fields including the health services, environmental protection, the biological industry, forensic science, agricultural services and education, and is also relevant to programmes in social sciences.

How do I find out more?

For further information email the course leader, Shaun Pope, at: shaun.pope@nscg.ac.uk

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