Wellington College

Wellington College Belfast

Co-Educational Grammar School

Engage | Educate | Empower

Biology

Biology

Key Staff

  • Mrs. Y. Johnston (HoD)
  • Mrs. S Loughran
  • Mrs. P. Newnham
  • Mrs. L. Higgins (Technician)

Biology is a fascinating subject that allows us to make a real difference to tomorrow's world by helping us to explore and understand the world we live in today. Our world offers biologists many challenges. Today's biologists are involved in researching and understanding some of the most controversial advances in human knowledge including the cloning of embryos, designer babies and genetically modified food.

Biology is the study of living organisms. It is concerned with using the latest technologies in studying microbes, classifying organisms and investigating different species and their interactions with each other and the natural environment.

Biologists are also involved in finding solutions to worldwide problems such as:

  • global warming;
  • the extinction of species;
  • AIDS and other epidemic diseases; and
  • MRSA and superbugs.

GCSE Biology (Revised)

Exam Board: CCEA

We are now offering this specification as a unitised course. This increases flexibility and choice for teachers and students.

GCSE Biology encourages students to develop their curiosity about the living world and provides insight into and experience of how science works. It also inspires, motivates and challenges students, enabling them to engage with biology in their everyday lives. Students learn about cells, living processes, biodiversity, body systems, genetics, microorganisms and health. Biology is the study of living things, their structure, behaviour and function, and how they grow and reproduce. It also looks at how living things are distributed and how they interact with each other, and the natural environment.

This course prepares students for the study of biology and related courses at GCE Advanced Level and Advanced Subsidiary. Biology students will have opportunities to develop their skills in analysis and evaluation which will be a valuable preparation for all careers. For those progressing directly into employment, a GCSE in biology is relevant not only to the fields of science and medicine, but also to areas of commerce and public service that value problem-solving and practical skills. It also helps them to develop transferable skills that will benefit them in vocational training and employment.

Unit

What will I study?

How will I be assessed?

Weighting

Unit 1: Cells, Living Things and Biodiversity

Cells, Living

Processes and

Biodiversity 

This unit deals with cells, photosynthesis

and plants, nutrition and health,

enzymes and digestion, breathing and

the respiratory system, the nervous

system and hormones, ecological

relationships and energy flow.

An externally assessed written

examination consisting of a

number of questions that provide

opportunities for short

answers, extended writing and calculations.

Foundation Tier: 1 hour 15 mins

Higher Tier: 1 hour 30 mins

35%

Unit 2:

Body systems,

Genetics,

Microorganisms

and Health 

This unit deals with osmosis and plant transport, chromosomes, genes and

DNA, cell division genetics and applied genetics, reproduction, contraception and fertility, variation and selection, circulatory system, microorganisms, defence against disease, medicines and drugs.

An externally assessed written

examination consisting of a

number of questions that provide opportunities for short answers, extended writing and calculations.

 

Foundation Tier: 1 hour 30 mins

Higher Tier: 1 hour 45 mins 

40%

Unit 3:

Practical Skills 

Each controlled assessment task has

three parts:

• Part A – Planning and Risk

Assessment

• Part B – Data Collection

• Part C – Processing, Analysis and

Evaluation.

• Students complete one

controlled assessment task from

a choice of two.

• Teachers mark the task and CCEA moderate the results 

25%

A Level Biology (Revised)

Exam board: CCEA

Unit

Assessment

Weightings

Availability

AS 1: Molecules and Cells

1 hour 30 minutes written examination, externally assessed

40% of AS 20% of A Level

January and Summer

AS 2: Organisms and Biodiversity

1 hour 30 minutes written examination, externally assessed

40% of AS 20% of A Level

January and Summer

AS 3: Assessment of Practical Skills in AS Biology

Internal practical assessment

20% of AS 10% of A Level

Summer only

A2 1: Physiology and Ecosystems

2 hour written examination, externally assessed

40% of A2 20% of A Level

January and Summer

A2 2: Biochemistry, Genetics and Evolutionary Trends

2 hour written examination, externally assessed

40% of A2 20% of A Level

Summer only

A2 3: Assessment of Investigational and Practical Skills in Biology

Internal practical assessment

20% of A2 10% of A Level

Summer only

Study of this subject is

• Relevant to careers in medicine, veterinary, dentistry, pharmacy, physiotherapy, nursing, biochemistry, biological sciences, food science , genetics, microbiology, chemistry, physics, ecological studies, physics and physical education.

• It is specified as a minimum requirement for the study of medicine.

• A useful addition to broaden a mainly Arts based A level programme, giving some insight into the current use and developments in biology and genetics.

A biology degree has a natural fit with the science and health sectors and provides wide-ranging skills including communication and problem solving...

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Higher education lecturer
  • Microbiologist
  • Nature conservation officer
  • Pharmacologist
  • Research scientist (life sciences)
  • Research scientist (medical)
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Soil scientist
  • Stratified medicine
  • Marine biology
  • Cardiac physiologist
  • Dentistry
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Physiotherapy
  • Forensic science
  • Neuroscience
  • Environmental science
  • Biomedical science
  • Genetics
  • Food science
  • Radiography
  • Dietician
  • Zoology
  • Agricultural technology
  • Healthcare science,
  • Veterinary medicine and science

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Dentist
  • General practice doctor
  • Health promotion specialist
  • Science writer

Useful Websites