Biology has been added to My Courses

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Course specifics

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades C/4 or above (including English Language). Level 2 vocational qualifications (e.g. BTEC/OCR) must be a merit grade or above and only one will count as one GCSE equivalent.
  • GCSE Biology 6 plus a 6 or above in either GCSE Chemistry or GCSE Physics.
  • Or 6,6 for Combined Science awards.
  • GCSE Maths at grade 6
  • If students have a 4/5 Grade in Mathematics they must have an average GCSE score of 5.8 or above and will need to take Core Maths

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Exam board: OCR

95%of students passed A-Level Biology. 36% of students gained an A*-B Grade at A-Level

Are you...

  • Interested in the living world?
  • Inspired by David Attenborough?
  • Going to be the person who goes on to cure cancer?
  • Aiming to be a doctor, nurse or vet?

If so, A-level Biology is for you.

Chloe Staniland

Chloe Staniland

Biology is the study of living things. The scope of this course is immense ranging from the biochemical structure of molecules through human anatomy, the advance of DNA and genetics in medicine, to the conservation of endangered species.

Motor Neurone Models Made by Students

Motor Neurone Models Made by Students

A good grade in the subject rewards you with the respect of future employers and a wealth of career opportunities. A-level Biology is an excellent base for a university degree in healthcare, such as medicine, veterinary or dentistry, as well as the biological sciences, such as biochemistry and molecular biology.

It is advisable to not study A-level Biology as your only science A-level. Biology is a challenging course; the best grades are achieved by students studying Biology with Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

Your A-level choices are important, as certain combinations of subjects are required for university courses and careers. Read this excellent guide produced by Russell Group universities to help you make your choices.

Russell Group Informed Choices PDF

Biology is studied over 2 years, with students examined in all aspects at the end of the course.

What are the benefits of studying A-level Biology?

The study of Biology is an interesting and challenging learning experience. Not only will it allow you to link key biological ideas, it will also develop a number of transferable skills including: investigative skills, problem solving, research, decision making, mathematical skills and analytical skills.

We have a BioMed group to support students wishing to pursue careers using their biology.

Meet the Science teachers and students

Topics Studied Year 1

  • Cell structure
  • Biological molecules
  • DNA
  • Enzymes
  • Biological membranes
  • Cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation
  • Exchange surfaces
  • Transport in animals and plants
  • Diseases and the immune system
  • Biodiversity
  • Classification and evolution
  • Communication and homeostasis

Topics Studied - Year 2

  • Hormones
  • Plant and animal responses
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration
  • Cellular control
  • Patterns of inheritance
  • Manipulating genomes
  • Cloning and biotechnology
  • Ecosystems
  • Populations and sustainability
  • Nervous System
  • Excretion

Methods of Teaching and Learning

Teachers employ a range of methods including investigations, demonstrations, working through examples, answering questions, directed reading, lecturing and researching. You will be expected to be self-motivated and take an active approach in your learning.

Additional support will be provided to those students who are not studying Maths and/or Chemistry along with Biology

Enrichment

You are encouraged to attend enrichment events; these have included master classes delivered by Biology undergraduates and lectures by professional scientists. Students have also taken part in the Royal United Hospital Sixth Form conference, the University of Bath STEM day, Bath University laboratory placements, Bath and Bristol University Summer Schools and the Access to Bristol course. Previous trips have includeded a trip to the Jenner Museum and WWT at Slimbridge, visit to Bath Spa and Aberystwyth universities to carry out field work, and Bristol University for laboratory skills workshops.

Methods of Assessment

A-level are entirely assessed by written examination at the end of each course. You will complete a range of practical activities; and the knowledge and understanding of these will be assessed within the written exams. Practical skills will also be assessed by teacher observation in class for the A-level practical endorsement element of the qualification.

Resources

The Biology department has modern, well equipped laboratories serviced by a team of Science Technicians. The majority of laboratories are equipped with computers for student use. In addition you are able to use the College Learning Resources Centre together with extensive open access computer suites.

Additional Costs

It is strongly recommended that students buy the course textbooks. A compulsory field trip at the end of the first year will incur a small cost for transport.

What Next

Students have progressed to university to study a wide range of courses including Anthropology, Animal Biology and Conservation, Biochemistry, Biology, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Cancer Biology, Dentistry, Education, Forensic Science, Medicine, Microbiology, Midwifery, Nursing, Ophthalmology, Pharmacology, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Nursing.

Becoming a Biologist

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