Cambridge International Examinations AS/A2 Biology (AS/A2 Biology)

Biology is the study and understanding of Life and Living processess in plants and animals. It promotes awareness of the living world around us. It encapsulates many varied and contemporary issues that promote the well being and survival of Man as well as the Ecosystems and living species around him. Biology emphasises the fundamental nature of sustainable life choices and the recycling of natural resources, many of which are finite. It considers the relationship we have with our environment.

Courses BI20-24 prepare students for the AS/A2 exam.


Biology in context for Cambridge International AS and A level (2nd Edition) Toole and Toole. Cambridge Advanced Science Biology 1. 

BI20 Cells and Molecules

This course helps to develop an understanding of the organic molecules which determine the building blocks of life, Cells. Opportunities for experience of practical investigations are possible whilst studying enzymes. Analysis and interpretation of results should be carried out independently or in groups.
Keskeiset sisällöt: The microscope in cell studies. Cells as the basic units of living organisms. Testing for biological molecules. Carbohydrates and lipids. Proteins and water. Mode of action of enzymes. Factors that affect enzyme action.

BI21 Cell membranes and transport. Mitosis. Nucleic acids and Protein synthesis.

The course describes the way biological molecules are arranged to from membranes. This course then emphasises how substances cross the membrane both passively and actively, allowing communication between cells. The course then illustrates how the genetic uniformity of all daughter cells is ensured. Finally, the stability and accuracy of DNA is considered, so replication and protein synthesis is achieved efficiently. A full osmosis investigation should be completed, including a plan, results, analysis and evaluation of the results.
Keskeiset sisällöt: Fluid mosaic membranes. Movement of substances into and out of cells, diffusion, facilitated diffusion, osmosis, active transport, endocytosis, exocytosis. Replication and division of nuclei and cells. Chromosome behaviour in mitosis. Structure and replication of DNA and its role as a store of genetic information. Protein synthesis, transcription and translation.

BI22 Transport

This course essentially covers transport in plants and animals. Emphasis is placed on plant transport systems moving substances from where they are absorbed or produced to where they are stored or used. Transport mechanisms in animals are more complex and active and the course illustrates how mammals achieve this.
Keskeiset sisällöt: Structure of plant transport tissues, xylem and phloem. Transport mechanisms, Symplast and Apoplast pathways. The circulatory system, Arteries Veins and
capillaries. Blood, tissue fluid, lymph. The heart and the cardiac cycle. The gas exchange system, trachea to alveoli.

BI23 Health and Disease

This course’s main emphasis is Health. We consider the health impacts from smoking, an avoidable risk factor to good health. The course’s main emphasis is then on global infectious and non infectious diseases mainly distributed in less economically developed countries. (LEDC). The course then considers how diseases can be prevented, by debating the use of Antibiotics as well as the use and mechanism of Vaccination. A thorough explanation of the cells involved in the Immune system and response is given. Each student should carry out an independent research report and presentation on a disease of their choice,(relevant to the syllabus).
Keskeiset sisällöt: Smoking. Infectious diseases. Antibiotics. The Immune system. Antibodies and Vaccination.

BI24 Investigations and extension material

This course aims to further develop students' understanding of the scientific methodology behind the investigative process. It also gives students the opportunity to further develop their hands on practical skills required for paper 3, even under timed 'exam conditions'. Potometer studies, further enzyme investigations should be carried out, with special emphasis on the numerical aspects of the course will be covered. Finally, further practice of microscope drawing skills will be covered.
Keskeiset sisällöt: The theory covered, will be specifically targeted to individual students' needs, as far as where their understanding has been weak from courses 1-4. Past paper revision exercises will be attempted and assessed.