A* = 56
Don't forget, if you are looking to study A-Levels please apply for up to three subjects.
Are you interested in the reactions and processes that make our bodies work and that make-up life around us? Are you interested in a career in healthcare, sports science, zoology or in the environment? Would you like to learn in our modern laboratories and explore an interest in Biology further? If the answer to any of the above is ‘yes,’ then Biology maybe the course for you!
Biology is the Science of life. Studying A Level Biology will give you the opportunity to explore biological phenomena from the smallest molecule to the largest ecosystem. You can investigate many different interesting and fascinating topics such as genetic engineering, plant structure and biodiversity, how our bodies work and operate, and how ecosystems around us coexist.
Biology is taught from the OCR A specification. You will sit the AS exam at the end of the first year then go on to sit the full A-level exams. There are three exam papers to be sat in Biology during the A Level Exams alongside a ‘Practical Endorsement’ of twelve groups of practical activities throughout your studies.
A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 and above, including English Language.
A grade 5 in GCSE Maths and a grade 7 in GCSE Biology or 7-7 in GCSE Combined Science.
We will accept learners with a grade 6 in GCSE Biology or 6-6 in GCSE Combined Science if they pass an entrance test.
In the first year, you will complete four different units.
1. ‘Development of Practical Skills in Biology’: In this unit, you will explore the importance of the scientific method and how to prepare, undertake, analyse, and evaluate practical experiments using specialised equipment. This unit is taught continuously across both years.
2. ‘Foundations in Biology’: This unit looks at some of the key foundation stones in Biology; from diverse types of cell structure and their composition, the roles and functions of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids, and the role of nucleotides, nucleic acids, enzymes, and membranes in life on earth. The unit also explores the process of cell division and the cellular life cycle.
3. ‘Exchange and Transport’: You will explore the structure and function of exchange and transport systems, such as circulation systems, transpiration and translocation in animals and plants.
4. ‘Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease’: This serves as an introduction to ecology and explores the variety of organisms that are pathogenic and the way in which animals and plants have evolved defences to deal with disease, in addition to the treatment of disease.
In the second year, there are two units.
5. ‘Communications, homeostasis and energy’: You will examine how organisms respond to stimuli and how this process works alongside homeostasis, photosynthesis, and respiration. You will also investigate the role of hormones, neurones, and chemicals in these processes.
6. ‘Genetics, evolution, and ecosystems’: This unit explores the role of genes in regulating and controlling cell function and development. Heredity and the mechanisms of evolution and speciation are also covered as is the manipulation of genomes, cloning and biotechnology. Lastly you will explore how ecosystems operate and how they are populated and regulated.
Studying A-level Biology allows you to progress to a variety of different subjects at university, including Veterinary Science, Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy Physiotherapy and Sports Science, Ecology, Biophysics, Genetics and Botany. If you wish to study Biology at university, you should also take another science A level such as Environmental Science, Chemistry, Physics, Forensics and Criminal Investigations or Psychology.
If you are studying Biology, you may want to join our Science Academy, to help develop your practical skills in the sciences alongside your studies with additional experiments, guided support with jobs and further exploration of the concepts explored in the class. You could also join our Medical Academy if you are wishing to pursue a career in healthcare, dentistry, or veterinary science. In this academy you will receive bespoke support and guidance on applying for these competitive courses as well as additional sessions specifically designed for your needs.
There are regular science-based talks in the Sixth Form as part of our STEM@LUNCH talks with exciting and interesting topics presented by university academics and industry experts.