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Human Biology

Subject Description

The human body is a fascinating structure, complex and full of surprises. The Human Biology A level course takes you on a journey of discovery through this structure. The course will give you an understanding of much more than just how the body works, however. You will learn about human disease, the origin of the human species and the ways in which we interact with our surrounding to influence the environment in which we live. You will be introduced to many aspects of medical research which include areas such as medicine, genetics and biotechnology.

Future Destinations:

Medical science is one of the fastest growing areas of research and with an A Level in Human Biology you will be well placed to enter of a wide range of careers in biomedical disciplines. It can lead to careers in medicine, physiotherapy, radiography, physiology, midwifery, anatomy, biomedical science, occupational therapy, speech therapy, nursing and other health care professions. It also provides an excellent basis for many sports related degrees

Qualification:

A Level

Exam Board:

AQA

Entry Requirements:

You will be expected to have gained a grade B or above in GCSE Double Science as well as a grade C in English and Mathematics.

Content and Assessment Breakdown:

Unit One

The body and its diseases

This unit consists of a study of cells of the human body and other living organisms; a balanced diet; gas exchange; the blood; disease and diseases linked with lifestyle.

Examination paper (80 raw marks/120 UMS). 7 – 10 short-answer questions plus 1 longer question, involving a short comprehension/ case study.

1 hour 30 minutes

40% of the total AS marks

20% of the total A Level marks

Unit Two

Humans – their origins and adaptations

In this unit genetics and evolution are studied. The topics include a study of variation; the interaction between organisms and their environment; mutation; natural selection; evolution and changes in the gene pool of a population.

Examination paper (80 raw marks/120 UMS). 7 – 10 short answer questions plus 1 longer question, involving a short comprehension/case study.

1 hour 30 minutes

40% of the total AS marks

20% of the total A Level marks

Unit Three

Internal Assessment.  Investigative and practical skills in AS Biology

There are two routes for internal assessment: i) centre marked assessment ii) AQA marked assessment.

Either Centre Marked Route T (50 raw marks/60 UMS)

Practical Skills Assessment (PSA – 6 raw marks) and Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA – 44 raw marks)

Or Externally Marked Route X (50 raw marks/60 UMS)

Practical Skills Verification (PSV – teacher verification)
Externally Marked Practical Assignment (EMPA – 50 raw marks)

20% of total AS marks

10% of total A Level marks

Unit Four

Bodies and cells in and out of control

This unit looks at hormonal and nervous control, genetics and gene expression.

Examination paper (90 raw marks/120 UMS). 9 – 11 short-answer questions plus.

1 longer question, involving methodology and data interpretation. Some of the questions will have synoptic elements. 2 hours.

20% of the total A Level marks

Unit Five

The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat

This module considers the role of humans in the environment and the demands humans place on natural resources.

Examination paper (100 raw marks / 140 UMS) 8 – 10 short answer questions plus 2 longer questions (a data-handling question and a synoptic essay – choice of 1 out of 2).

2 hours 15 minutes.

23.3% of the total A Level marks

Unit Six

Internal Assessment. Investigative and practical skills in A2 Biology.

Either Centre Marked Route T (50 raw marks/60 UMS)

Practical Skills Assessment (PSA – 6 raw marks) and Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA – 44 raw marks)

Or Externally Marked Route X (50 raw marks/60 UMS)

Practical Skills Verification (PSV – teacher verification).

Externally Marked Practical Assignment (EMPA – 50 raw marks).

10% of the total A Level marks

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