The Biology A Level Course embraces the fascinating study of life and all living organisms. This specification will cover the molecular basis, origins and the ecosystems inhabited by such organisms. The course will also deal with the more worrying aspects of Biology such as disease, habitat destruction and genetic engineering.
Each lesson begins with a set of clearly stated objectives and an explanation of its place in the overall programme of study. Effective learning is encouraged through frequent activities and self-assessment questions. There are nineteen Tutor-Marked Assignments (TMAs) which include three practice exam assignments.
The Biology A Level Home Study Course prepares students for the Edexcel Biology A Level (9BIO) Specification B for exams in May/June 2021 or later years. The Biology A level is assessed by three written exam papers and an optional practical endorsement:
- Paper 1: Advanced Biochemistry, Microbiology and Genetics (1 hour 45 minutes) is 90 Marks in total (30% of the total A Level).
This paper will examine the following topics: Biological Molecules; Cells, Viruses and Reproduction of Living Things; Classification and Biodiversity; Exchange and Transport; Energy for Biological Processes; Microbiology and Pathogens; and Modern Genetics.
- Paper 2: Advanced Physiology, Evolution and Ecology (1 hour 45 minutes) is 90 Marks in total (30% of the total A Level).
This paper will examine the following topics: Biological Molecules; Cells, Viruses and Reproduction of Living Things; Classification and Biodiversity; Exchange and Transport; Origins of Genetic Variation; Control Systems; and Ecosystems
- Paper 3: General and Practical Principles in Biology (2 hour 30 minutes) is 120 Marks in total (40% of the total A Level).
Students are expected to carry out the 16 core practical experiments that are identified in the course content. Full guidance on this is given in the course materials.
Science Practical Endorsement:
The Biology A level Specification lists a number of practical skills to be internally assessed by teachers. This assessment leads to a statement of “practical competency” which would be reported alongside the grade on the final A level certificate. This grade is listed as “Pass”.
Please Note: It will not be possible for distance learning students to be tested for practical competency. However, it is not necessary to obtain a statement of practical competency to successfully gain an A level grade and certificate, If students are completing this qualification as part of a further education application then we advise checking with the organisation that you will be studying with to make sure the statement of practical competency is not part of their requirements.
The Biology A-Level Home Study Course is Divided into Four Modules Containing 41 Lessons:
- Module 1: Molecules, Cells and Reproduction
- Module 2: Exchange, Transport and Diversity
- Module 3: Energy, Pathogens and Genetics
- Module 4: Variation, Control and Ecosystems
We will admit Candidates for A Level Courses who have a minimum of 4 GCSE’s at grade C and above on the older grading system or 4 or above on the new grading system.
For Biology this should ideally include a grade C/4 or above in Maths and English. It is also assumed that students have obtained a grade C/4 or above at (I)GCSE Biology or Double Award Science. However, it is possible to study the course without this background by doing some additional work. Guidance is given in the course.
Please Note: We cannot accept students who are under 16 years old on this course.
The following books are required to work alongside your course materials:
- Edexcel A Level Biology Student Book 1 Paperback by Ed Lees, Martin Rowland, C. J. Clegg. (ISBN: 978-1471807343)
- Edexcel A Level Biology Student Book 2 Paperback by Ed Lees, Martin Rowland, C. J. Clegg. (ISBN: 978-1471807374)
Additional non-essential recommended reading is detailed in the course materials for students who would like further resources whilst completing their studies. We recommend purchasing any books after receiving your course materials to make sure there have been no revisions.
Students will be supported until their chosen examination window. Every student receives a personal tutor with whom they should keep in regular contact. All tutors are fully qualified experienced teachers holding either a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or a degree in education. Most work from home and are able to offer flexible contact times. The tutor will contact students with an introductory letter and a telephone call to help decide on a study plan. They will also let the student know the best ways and times for contact.
There is no limit on how often you can contact your tutor. The advice and encouragement our tutors provide are an important part of your learning experience. You can contact your tutor by Phone, Post or Email. There are tutor-marked assignments (TMA’s) in every course. These help the student to consolidate their learning and prepare for examinations.
All tutors have a Freephone 0800 telephone number and most will have Skype capabilities. Whilst you are still actively submitting assignments, you should expect to be in contact with your tutor regularly. Remember, to get the most out of your tutor, you will need to tell them when you need assistance.
All Edexcel specification A-Level Exams must be taken at a registered examination centre as a private candidate in a registered school or college. The finding of an examination centre and the booking of exams is the responsibility of the student. In December/January students are contacted and advised to start arranging their examinations.
The new Linear format examinations all need to be sat in a single examination window on completion of your studies. Examination fees need to be paid direct to your chosen exam centre. Prices for exams will vary depending on the exam centre’s administration costs so it is worth contacting a few centres to compare prices.
We offer course materials and tutor support although we don’t offer the examinations. An Examinations Officer can assist any registered student with finding centres and dealing with coursework forms, but we do not book exams on behalf of students and it is the students responsibility to book their exams. If you would like to research exam centres prior to enrolment then you can visit the Edexcel page for private candidates.
Examination Dates and Exam fees:
A Level examinationss are only sat in the Summer examination window. Students can decide to study over a one year or two year period (providing the specification and exams are available over that duration). You can sign up for a course at any time although course tutors set closing dates for students aiming for specific examination windows. Examination fees need to be paid direct to your chosen exam centre. Prices for exams will vary depending on the exam centre’s administration costs.
Please Note: The nearest examination window we can accept students aiming towards is now Summer 2022.
The closing dates for courses which require coursework authentication (English Language, English Literature and History) will be 24 September 2021 and the closing date for other subjects are 15 October 2021. Students can also aim for exams in Summer 2023 if that is their preference, providing the specification is still available.
Tutors can support registered students with their University application but this should be arranged in the previous year to sitting exams and prior to the below dates:
- 1st August for Oxford or Cambridge
- 1st December for all other Universities
There is a charge of £100.00 for supporting your application and providing predicted grades and a well-rounded reference which will incorporate something from each of your tutors and be specific to your application. The payment will be made before the required dates and any reference requests received after this date will incur an additional £50.00 penalty payment.
In order that your tutor has something on which to base a reference and/or predicted grade, you need to have done a MINIMUM of six assignments in each subject you are studying. More is better! Your tutor will want you to succeed so talk to them about your plans; it will help with your application if they know something about you.
If you are at school and are doing an A level as an addition to your school studies, then you will need to check with your school to make sure they will accept a predicted grade or some input into the reference that they are doing for you.