International Advanced Level


About This Course

​In biology you will develop practical skills, by planning experiments, collecting data, analysing experimental results and making conclusions. You will also learn how scientific models are developed, the applications and implications of science, the benefits and risks that science brings and the ways in which society uses science to make decisions.

What You Will Learn

What makes heart disease so common? You will learn more about the circulatory system and the kinds of lifestyle choices, such as diet and exercise, that put you more, or less, at risk of suffering from heart disease. You will find out how some parts of the body work, for example, about the lungs and how materials are transported around the body, and the role of enzymes. You will also learn about genetics and what can happen if errors occur during the replication of DNA, considering the social and ethical issues raised by genetic screening and gene therapy.

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Do you know how you came to have your natural hair colour? You will learn that your physical characteristics have been determined by your genetic makeup and influenced by the environment. In doing so, you will learn some cell biology, about the two main types of cell division and the purpose of each type, and about sexual reproduction. Have you also ever wondered how there came to be so many different types of organisms in the world, ranging from microscopic organisms such as viruses to huge mammals such as whales? This unit explains the term biodiversity, and also the concept of natural selection and how it can lead to adaptation which drives evolution. In this unit you will also learn about plants and their structure, and how the properties of some plants may be used to tackle issues such as sustainability.

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Students are expected to develop experimental skills, and a knowledge and understanding of experimental techniques, by carrying out a range of practical experiments and investigations covered in Units 1 and 2. This unit will assess students’ knowledge and understanding of experimental procedures and techniques that were developed when they did those experiments.

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Global warming and climate change are buzzwords that appear in media headlines and have been the source of much controversy and political divide. So which side are you on and why? You will learn about the different types of evidence for global warming and the possible causes of it, and the effect it will have on animals and plants. You will also learn about ecology, photosynthesis and speciation. This unit covers the fascinating area of immunology — the war that goes on between our immune system and pathogens. You will learn what defences the body has against invading pathogens and how some micro-organisms, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, can get the better of us by attacking our defences. You will have the opportunity to look into the world of the forensic scientist and appreciate the application of scientific knowledge in this context.

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All mammals, including humans, have similar physiologies that facilitate movement. Why is it rare to find an athlete who is both a sprinter and a marathon runner? In this unit you will build on your knowledge about joints and movement, and learn more about the precise mechanism of skeletal muscle contraction, respiration and homeostasis in the context of exercise. The brain is the most complicated, and probably least understood organ in the body. It has the complex task of coordinating our bodily functions and movement, making sense of all the sensory information it receives, as well as storing our thoughts, emotions and memories. As the brain is such a complicated and vital organ, there is a lot of potential for it to go wrong which can have drastic effects on the health of the person. You will also look at the effects of disease and drugs on the brain and how these effects, in turn, affect the body and the mind.

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Students are expected to develop a wide knowledge and understanding of experimental procedures and techniques throughout the whole of their Advanced Level course. They are expected to become aware of how these techniques might be used to investigate interesting biological questions. This unit will assess students’ knowledge and understanding of experimental procedures and techniques and their ability to plan whole investigations, analyse data and to evaluate their results and experimental methodology.

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Which combination is right for me?

When it comes to Biology, Acalyt has a variety of packages and courses of all levels for you to choose from. Find out which courses are right for you with this quick guide.

Why Take This Course

This is the right course for you, if you:

What Do I Get?

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"I cannot think of a single field in biology or medicine in which we can claim genuine understanding, and it seems to me the more we learn about living creatures, especially ourselves, the stranger life becomes."

- Lewis Thomas, American-born physician

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