Biology

Course Download

Download the Course Outline (PDF)

Fact file

  • GCSEs to include a Grade 5 in Combined Science or Biology, English and Mathematics
  • Minimum Average GCSE Score required for this course: 5.5
  • Specification is suitable for anyone interested in a higher qualification in Biology, whether initial area of interest is humans, animals and/or plants
  • 12 required practicals that will be assessed in class and through exams at the end of the course
  • Field trip in second year
  • Over 50% of our students progress to courses in Biological Sciences or Health Studies/Medicine.

Course summary

If you love life, you will love Biology! This fascinating subject looks at the processes that make living organisms work and how they function in health and in some diseases. It is an ideal choice if you want to use your knowledge and skills to help people, maintain a safe environment and develop an understanding of some of the most important issues confronting our society today.

A Level Biology builds on the concepts and skills that you will have developed at GCSE. You will learn about the molecules, cells, tissues and processes which make organisms work, enabling you to understand the Biology underlying some diseases and their treatments. You will consider how DNA produces variation in organisms, some consequences of changes in DNA and will learn of the importance of biodiversity and how it is measured.

The course covers ecosystems and includes fieldwork during which you will identify the effects of human impact on the environment and the ways in which those impacts can be minimised. More traditional topics such as photosynthesis and respiration – and emerging topics such as genomics and gene technology – will also be explored.

The contribution of Biology to society is highlighted throughout the course. This is reflected by topics that are often in the news such as vaccination, anti-cancer drugs, stem cells, use of genetic fingerprinting and factors affecting populations.