Biology Introduction

Cambridge International AS-Level Biology (code: 9700)

Biology is the study of life.

The Cambridge Assessment International Education (Cambridge International) AS-Level Biology course (code: 9700) begins with a study of cytology (cell structure, biological molecules, enzymes, cell membranes and the mitotic cycle) before considering two systems in more detail, namely transport in multicellular plants and in mammals and the gas exchange system in humans. The course ends with a look at infectious diseases and the immunity system. Like all Cambridge subjects, AS biology seeks to develop students who have a good theoretical and practical knowledge of the subjects and an ability to apply that knowledge to a variety of situations.

The Cambridge International AS-Level Biology course is suitable for students who seek a more advanced understanding of biology, and is excellent preparation for any field of tertiary study that deals with living organisms (botany, zoology, medicine, veterinary science, marine biology, etc.).

There are three exam papers in the AS-Level biology programme:

  • The first paper is a multiple-choice paper which tests the student's understanding of and ability to apply the subject knowledge.
  • The second paper is a structured question paper which also tests the student's subject knowledge and understanding, as well as testing his/her ability to communicate in appropriate scientific language.
  • The third paper is a practical paper which tests the student's ability to carry out biological experiments, including microscope work

The Cambridge International AS-Level biology course is half of the full A-Level biology course. It can stand alone as an AS-Level subject, or can be used within a staged approach to the full A-Level course.

Prior knowledge of biology is essential. The Cambridge International IG biology course is a good foundation for the AS-Level biology. A background in chemistry will also be valuable as it is assumed students understand about atoms, bonds, molecules etc.

Imago Education's biology course

There are excellent text books available for this biology course, but students often battle to know how to work with the material in such a way as to master its understanding and application. Frequently they will read through the text book, and perhaps answer some of the questions, believing that this is all that is required. What is really needed, though, is a comprehensive, systematic, structured set of learning activities that will lead the student to a mastery of the subject. It is Imago Education's aim to provide such a set of learning activities, divided into manageable lessons, that will guide the student through the learning process and enable him/her to prepare thoroughly for the final exam.

We will be using Biology for Cambridge International AS and A Level Coursebook by Mary Jones, Richard Fosbery, Dennis Taylor and Jennifer Gregory, fifth edition (Cambridge University Press, 2020, ISBN: 978-1-108-85902-8) as the text book for this course. This particular text book is endorsed by Cambridge International and therefore meets their requirements for this course. The text book is well written and is particularly suitable for the private candidate studying on their own. We will also be using the accompanying workbook Biology for Cambridge International AS and A Level Workbook by Mary Jones and Matthew Parkin, Second edition, (Cambridge University Press 2020, ISBN: 978-1-108-85942-4.

While the course will point out the practical skills which need to be learned, it is by its nature limited in providing the student with the skills required for the practical exam. It is therefore essential for students to find a centre near them where they can prepare for the practical part of this course. Imago Education will be running practical courses during the year so please let us know if you would like more details on the practical course.

The menu at the left hand side provides a table of contents for all the lessons in this course. To get a feel for how the course works, please look at the free lessons available (indicated with *).

Please click here if you would like to purchase a subscription for this course.