Biology A Level (New)

Due to the short amount of time left until the Summer 2018 exam session, we advise students to move their exam intention to 2019. The opportunity to enrol for 2018 exams with Fast Track has now ended for this course.

A level Biology is the study of life, from the complexities of the human body to much simpler protozoa. An essential choice if you plan to go on to study medicine, nursing or physiotherapy. In this course you will learn about genes and health, biodiversity, forensics and more.

This course is one of our new Gold Star A levels. Find out more about them here.

Price: 

Price£650.00

Course requirements

A GCSE or equivalent in Biology (minimum grade B) and Chemistry (minimum grade C) or Double or Triple Science (minimum grade B) and Maths (minimum grade C) is strongly recommended for this course. This is an online course so you will also need access to the internet.

Duration of study

It's really up to you but, as a guide, an A level course takes about 250-300 hours plus extra time for assignment work you submit to your tutor. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 24 months from the date of enrolment. Many students allow 18-24 months to complete an A level, but some complete the course within a year.

Specification

This course follows specification 9BN0 from the awarding organisation Edexcel. Full details of the specifications can be obtained from Edexcel's website.

Topics

Section 1 - Lifestyle, health and risk
  • What is cardiovascular disease?
  • Who is at risk of cardiovascular disease?
  • Risk factors for cardiovascular disease
  • Biochemistry involved in cardiovascular disease
  • Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease

Section 2 - Genes and health
  • The effects of cystic fibrosis on the lungs
  • Why is CF mucus so sticky?
  • The roles of proteins and enzymes
  • How is the CFTR protein made?
  • How is cystic fibrosis inherited?
  • Testing for CF

Section 3 - Voice of the genome
  • Cells and their components
  • In the beginning
  • From one to many: the cell cycle
  • How development is controlled
  • Genes and environment

Section 4 - Biodiversity and natural resources
  • Why are there so many different species?
  • How did organisms become so well adapted?
  • Classification and speciation
  • Plant cells and tissues
  • Making use of biodiversity in plants
  • On the brink

Section 5 - On the wild side
  • What is an ecosystem?
  • Ecosystems rely on energy transfer
  • Global climate change
  • Predicting and coping with future climate change
  • Adapt or die
  • Getting the balance right

Section 6 - Infection, immunity and forensics
  • Forensic biology
  • Cause of death
  • The body's response to infection
  • Could the infections have been prevented?
  • Are there treatments for AIDS and TB?

Section 7 - Run for your life
  • Getting moving
  • Energy for action
  • Peak performance
  • Breaking out in a sweat
  • Overdoing it
  • Improving on nature

Section 8 - Grey matter
  • The nervous system and nerve impulses
  • Reception of stimuli
  • The brain
  • Visual development and making sense of what we see
  • Learning and memory
  • Problems with synapses
  • Genetic modification: risks and benefits

Exams and assessment

Three exams:
  • 2 hours, 33.3% of marks
  • 2 hours, 33.3% of marks
  • 2 hours, 33.3% of marks
  • The A level exams are written, with no practical element, but throughout the exam you will be expected to use your understanding of practical theory to answer questions. You will have gained this knowledge through the 18 core practicals within your course.

Non-exam assessment (NEA):

Assignments

Assignments do not contribute towards your final grade but provide you with an opportunity to submit work to your tutor for marking and feedback. This will help you to gauge your progress as you work through the course.

This course has:
  • 1 introductory assignment
  • 9 assignments

Set texts and resources

Active e-book versions of these texts will be included free with your course:
  • Salters-Nuffield AS/A level Biology Student Book 1, University of York Science Education Group, Pearson Education 2015
  • Salters-Nuffield A level Biology Student Book 2, University of York Science Education Group, Pearson Education 2015

Additional texts:
  • Maths Skills for A Level Biology, J Penny, Oxford University Press 2013

Using learn@nec

Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:

Operating systems:
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or later
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
  • iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser

Browsers:
  • Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari 6 or later
  • Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)

learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.

How to enrol

There are several ways to enrol with NEC:
  • Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above.
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team.
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

Paying in instalments

It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative example:
Course fee:  
Deposit:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  £650
  £65
  £585
  £97.50
  6 months
  £650
  0% (fixed)

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.

Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to www.dekopay.com/faq or visit www.dekopay.com.
Including area code and country code (if outside of UK)

A Level Biology Course Sample

Thank you for your interest in this course.

Please fill out your details below, and you will receive an email containing a link to download the course sample.

What our students say...

"I have found that the learn@nec site has been very easy to use and I am able to access course material quickly and easily. I particularly like how there is a course checklist where you can keep track of your progress and are able to see how many topics you have to complete so I can designate my time for each subject accordingly."

— NEC A level Biology student