This Biology IGCSE can be used in preparation for progressing to higher level study in relevant biological subjects (for example AS and A2) or as a vehicle for career development or to fulfil entry requirements to education courses.
The course is designed to be accessible for those with limited scientific backgrounds, and as such is an excellent starting point for students wishing to learn more about biological science.
There is no practical coursework associated with the course but science skills and knowledge are integral elements of the core topics, so are embedded within independent learning activities, evaluation of practical based components within the material and will prepare students for similar components within the written examinations.
The IGCSE Biology course includes aspects of science that are relevant to everyday life and therefore appropriate for distance and adult learning.
Each unit has an associated extended TMA (Tutor Marked Assessment) which students are encouraged to complete so that they can utilise comprehensive feedback from their tutor and use this to identify strengths and weaknesses in knowledge and understanding.
|Study time:||120 hours|
|Enrolment length:||12 months|
|Course format:||Paper based pack|
|Assignments:||10 assignments and 2 mock exams|
|Entry requirements:||None specific|
Biology GCSE Course Units
Topic 1 – The nature and variety of living organisms
In the first topic of this course we will look at the nature and variety of living organisms. This will include how living organisms respire, take in nutrients, dispose of waste, reproduce and develop. A number of different characteristics of plants, animals, fungi and protoctists will be explained thoroughly.
Topic 2 – Cells and biological structures
Next we will start to look at cells and their structures. Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things and come in a number of different shapes and sizes.
The most common cell types will be introduced as well as how substances move in and out of the cell. Chemicals that are present in cells will also be explained as well as the differences between plant and animal cells.
Topic 3 – Nutrition
In this topic we will move on to look at nutrition of both plants and humans. All living things require good nutrition so that their cells have the correct chemicals to do their job. This topic will explore what photosynthesis is and what vitamins and minerals humans need for their organs to operate.
Topic 4 – Respiration and gas exchange
This topic will focus on respiration and gas exchange in both plants and animals and what this process involves. The structure and function of the lungs will be explored as well as how smoking can impact lung function.
Topic 5 – Transport
The transportation of substances in both plants and humans will be covered in this topic. It is vital for any living organism to be able to move substances from one area of the body to another to ensure that chemicals are in the locations they are needed.
This topic will focus on osmosis in plants and the role of blood in the human body. The workings of the heart and composition of the blood will be explained in full so that you fully understand how the blood transports substances around your body.
Topic 6 – Coordination and response
Next we will move on to look at how living organisms respond to various changes in their environment. The ability to notice a change and then respond to this change is used as a way for organisms to ensure they are safe.
Various different stimuli (something that triggers a change) will be explored and we will look at how organisms respond to these.
Topic 7 – Reproduction and inheritance
In this topic we will study the principles of reproduction in flowering plants and humans. We will understand the differences between asexual and sexual reproduction and describe the processes of fertilisation and pollination. The roles of hormones including oestrogen, progesterone, FSH and LH in the human menstrual cycle will be explained along with the ways in which the male and female reproductive systems are adapted to their functions.
Topic 8 – Ecology and the environment
Ecology is the study of how living things impact each other and how various environments impact organisms. In this topic we will look at environments in detail as well as food chains and the way in which different plants and animals impact the life of others.
Topic 9 – Use of biological resources
In this topic we will study the methods used in food production including the use of glasshouses, polythene tunnels and fertilisers in growing crop plants. We will also look at the role of microorganisms such as yeast and bacteria in the production of food, for example bread and yoghurt, and the methods used to farm large numbers of fish.