We regularly see and hear in the media of new discoveries or scientific advances being made in the world. Very often these advances are in the field of Biological Sciences. It may be in medicine, genetics, food production and so on, but there is likely to be a Biologist involved in the research at some stage. Study of Biology offers the learner the opportunity to become more closely involved with this scientific frontier.
The course is relevant and challenging. Principles are studied in interesting contexts. It also emphasises the way scientists work and how science contributes to modern society.
How Will I study?
Work is both teacher led and facilitated or as leaners use directed research to find things out for themselves. Practical work is conducted wherever possible so that students are able to develop their investigative skills.
It is very important to understand how organisms function: learners are guided to develop their analytical skills, to use their knowledge of anatomy (the way an organism is put together), physiology (the way all of the bits work together), and biochemistry (the chemical reactions inside the cells) to explain observations about animals and plants.
During the course, use is made of both plant and animal tissues. Although we use computer simulations to help clarify some of the topics, they cannot replace ‘hands on’ experience effectively.
Field studies will be undertaken during the A Level course.
A minimum grade B is required in Double Science at G.C.S.E. Candidates who studied the separate sciences will need at least a grade B in Biology and Chemistry. A Grade C in higher tier mathematics is also required.
Units for AS Level:
Two written papers, both 50% of A2
Units for A Level:
Three written papers, which also include practical work.
View our Survival Guide to Biology created by our sixth form students below
We are researching courses by exam board at the moment. Please see our Support Leaflet for further details.
Class teaching is normally shared between two Biology Teachers. We do however, encourage all students to use all of the Biology Teachers in the department as a resource, to turn to for advice and support whenever difficulties arise. Learner progress is regularly reviewed and monitored to ensure that they continue working to their full potential.
Careers and Higher Education
An A Level in Biology is necessary for anyone wishing to study any of the branches of the Biological Sciences at degree level. It is also very important for anyone hoping for a career in the medical
profession (medicine, physiotherapy or ophthalmic etc), the pharmaceutical industry (pharmacy, pharmacology, forensics etc.) or the environmental sciences. Biology is highly regarded as a qualification in itself though, when students opt to enter directly into industry.