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A Level Biology at Ricards Lodge High School

Course description

Biology is the study or organisms and their interactions between each other and their environment. It ultimately provides us with an understanding of our bodies, food production and how life sustains itself. Biologists learn not just the rapidly increasing knowledge base of life, but the methods by which we can experiment to learn more about organisms and ethical issues surrounding various aspects related to Biology. You will develop skills in experimentation, thus developing good practical and lateral thinking skills. This involves developing good communication, observational, research, predictive, statistical, analytical, evaluative, critical and planning skills. Independent learning is a core part of A Level Biology. Above all, a successful Biologist will have a passion for all aspects of Biology, be a creative thinker, and be willing to take risks.

Course content

Development of practical skills in Biology, Foundations in Biology, Exchange and Transport, Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease, as well as learning about Communication, Homeostasis, Energy, Genetics and Ecosystems.

You will also undertake class practicals as part of your work towards Practical Endorsement in Biology, which can include carrying out slide preparation, microscopic diagrams/analysis, field work, DNA fingerprinting and dissections. There will also be visits and residential field trips to leading universities and teaching hospitals, opportunities to meet leading speakers in Biological fields, take part in Biology Olympiad and apply for a Nuffield Research Placement. Students who are eligible for medicine/dentistry will attend workshops run by specialists held at various Merton schools in order to support your application for university.

Entry requirements

Grade B or higher in GCSE Biology and a Grade B or higher in GCSE Chemistry and Physics OR both Core and Additional Science. B or above in Maths and English. Students applying for this course must have a minimum GCSE APS of 44 points.


Unit 01 (Biological Processes) consists of a 2 hour 15 minute written paper worth 37% of the A2 qualification
Unit 02 (Biological Diversity) consists of a 2 hour 15 minute written paper exam worth 37% of the A2 qualification
Unit 03 (Unified Biology) consists of a 1 hour 30 minute written paper worth 26% of the A2 qualification

Future opportunities

A Level Biology opens up doors to specialising in a variety of fields. These include biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, zoology, marine biology, genetics, cell biology, and ecology. As a result, Biology can lead to an array of future prospects. With the obvious being any medical degree course, future careers could include biomedical science, neuroscience, pharmacy, pharmacology, genetics, histopathology, dentistry, veterinary science, sports science, nursing, physiotherapy, chiropractic, nutritionist, marine science, teaching, or further research into a specialist area of Biology such as stem cell research. The list is endless.

Biology is regarded as a core academic subject due to its complexity, detail, numerical and written skill base. The course exercises problem-solving skills and the ability to apply one’s knowledge to unknown situations. Consequently, Biology can also open up other career pathways, as the thinking skills required make candidates eligible for careers in the financial sector, law, marketing, journalism, politics, and media (For more information see:

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ricards Lodge High School directly.

Last updated date: 07 May 2015
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    • The combined 6th form of Ricards Lodge High School and Rutlish School offer students at every academic level access to courses in all curriculum areas including our specialist subjects – Mathematics, Computing, Performing and Visual Arts – ensuring access to University Education and a wide range of vocational careers. As a 6th form student at RR6 you will benefit from our commitment to first class teaching and also to providing a pastoral framework that will support you in becoming an independent achiever. Our Director of Sixth Form will work across both schools to ensure the quality and continuity of support, advice and guidance.

      You will also have access to new, high quality accommodation and resourcing including a learning resources centre,  wi-fi facilities and specialist classroom space.