GCE AS and A level subject content for biology, chemistry and physics.
1. AS and A level subject content sets out the knowledge, understanding and skills
common to all AS and A level specifications in biology, chemistry, physics and maths.
Aims and objectives
2. AS and A level specifications in a science subject must encourage students to:
• develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject
and how they relate to each other
• develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and
understanding of scientific methods
• develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and
problem solving skills
• develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an
interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
• understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the
sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society
3. AS and A level science specifications must build on the skills, knowledge and
understanding set out in the GCSE criteria/content for science.
4. The skills, knowledge and understanding set out in the appendices for AS in each
science subject must comprise approximately 60 per cent of AS specifications. The skills,
knowledge and understanding for A level must comprise approximately 60 per cent of an
A level specification. For both AS and A level it would include the mathematical requirements.
5. The remainder of both AS and A level specifications allows both for:
• further consideration of applications and implications of science and the
development of scientific ideas
• the introduction of different areas of study
6. AS and A level specifications must include a range of contemporary and other
7. AS and A level specifications must require students to cover the areas of the
subject as illustrated in the relevant appendix.
8. The skills, knowledge and understanding of each specification in the subject must,
where appropriate, include the requirements set out below, and be integrated into the
mandatory content indicated in the relevant appendix and any content added by the
awarding organisation, where appropriate:
• use theories, models and ideas to develop scientific explanations
• use knowledge and understanding to pose scientific questions, define scientific
problems, present scientific arguments and scientific ideas
• use appropriate methodology, including information and communication technology
(ICT), to answer scientific questions and solve scientific problems
• carry out experimental and investigative activities, including appropriate risk
management, in a range of contexts
• analyse and interpret data to provide evidence, recognising correlations and causal
• evaluate methodology, evidence and data, and resolve conflicting evidence
• know that scientific knowledge and understanding develops over time
• communicate information and ideas in appropriate ways using appropriate
• consider applications and implications of science and evaluate their associated
benefits and risks.
• consider ethical issues in the treatment of humans, other organisms and the
• evaluate the role of the scientific community in validating new knowledge and
• evaluate the ways in which society uses science to inform decision making.05:35November 05, 2019 Report