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A Level Biology at Garth Hill College

Course description

If you are in any way interested in the living world from Humans to Plants this is the subject for you.

We look at the world around us from the biochemical workings of the human body to the ultra structure of the human cell. We also consider some of the greatest pressure on mankind, how to stop microorganisms and how to feed an ever expanding population.

The course will also be packed with practical work so that there are opportunities for hands on learning. This includes dissections of organs to field work studies. If this sounds interesting then why not speak to Mr Bromham, Mr Head, Mr Smith or Miss Day.

Course content

Content of the AS course

Unit 1: Cells, Exchange and Transport

  • Cell Structure
  • Properties of Plasma membranes
  • The cell cycle
  • Human Respiratory System
  • Human Circulatory System
  • Transport in Plants

Unit 2: Molecules

  • Biological Molecules
  • DNA Replication
  • Enzymes
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Microorganisms and Disease Drugs and Health

Unit 3: Practical Skills in Biology

  • The following practical skills will be investigated and assessed internally during the course:
  • Planning
  • Implementing
  • Analysing evidence and drawing conclusions
  • Evaluating evidence and procedures
  • Communicating
  • Biological Drawings

Content of the A2 course

Unit 4: Communication, Homeostasis and Energy

  • Variation and the mechanisms of inheritance and evolution
  • The Biology of Ecosystems
  • Photosynthesis
  • Food chains and food webs
  • Respiration
  • Decomposition and Recycling
  • Human Activity and the Environment

Unit 5: Control, Genomes and the Environment

  • Uptake and loss of water in flowering plants
  • Homeostasis
  • Functions of the liver and kidney
  • Respiratory gases
  • Digestion
  • The nervous system

Unit 6: Practical Skills in Biology
The following practical skills will be investigated and assessed internally during the course:

  • Planning
  • Implementing

Entry requirements

A2 or AS Biology builds on the knowledge, understanding and process skills you will have developed in GCSE Science. So it is expected that you will have achieved at least GCSE grade C in Science and Additional Science although a minimum of two Bs is preferred. The qualification integrates theory and relevant practical work. You need to be able to communicate effectively, research and think critically about biological and scientific issues and problems. You must also be fairly competent at solving numerical problems.

A-Level Biology (OCR):

Students will study for an AS qualification in Biology with the examination board OCR in their first year. Students attend nine periods of Biology a fortnight. Lessons draw upon a variety of resources including discussions, practical work, use of IT (such as data logging and research using CD-ROMS and the Internet), and problem solving exercises. The course includes field work towards the end of year12.

After the first year students have the option of continuing onto A2 Biology or being certified with an AS Level in biology.


The AS course is assessed as follows: Unit 1 exam 30% of AS grade Unit 2 exam 50% of AS grade Unit 3 Practical Skills 20% of AS grade

The A2 course is assessed as follows: AS exams 50% of final grade Unit 4 exam 15% of final grade Unit 5 exam 25% of final grade Unit 6 Practical Skills 10% of final grade

Future opportunities

  •  You're interested in and enjoy Biology.
  •  You would like to demonstrate to Universities and future employers that you have the ability to understand what can initially appear to be abstract concepts and use evidence to explain them.
  •  You enjoy solving practical problems.
  •  You enjoy carrying out investigations by the application of imaginative, logical thinking.
  •  You want to use biology to support other qualifications or progress onto further studies.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Garth Hill College directly.

Last updated date: 27 April 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years


  • More information
    • Garth Hill College Sixth Form is open to all students. We aim to provide high quality education in a supportive, friendly environment. We cater for all abilities and offer a wide range of subjects at Level 3 (Advanced Level) and Level 2, as well as courses which are delivered through our partnership with other local providers. Choosing the courses which are right for you is an important decision. We have a highly experienced team of Sixth Form personal tutors who will be able to provide you with expert advice, guidance and support.

      Our results are good and many subjects’ results are among the best nationally.  However, we aim to ensure that all our Sixth Formers are encouraged to develop their personal confidence so that they can work effectively both for themselves and others.  We want to see all our Sixth Formers succeed, not only in their studies, but also as young adults within the College and local community.


      You will be encouraged to show initiative and to develop new skills; to work on your own and in teams; to take advantage of the opportunities which are regularly presented to post-16 students. We value our Sixth Formers and we challenge them to perform to the very best of their abilities. Being a student at Garth Hill College Sixth Form will provide you with a wonderful opportunity to work hard, take up new responsibilities and gain valuable experience and preparation for the next stage of your life.