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Biology A-Level at Deanery High School and Sixth Form College

Course description

The study of A-level Biology allows students to develop detailed knowledge and understanding of living organisms and life processes. From life chemicals to cells, from tissues to organs, from organ systems to organisms, students gain an insight into the amazing complexities and astonishing truths about life on Earth. Students are given the opportunity to develop practical and analytical skills in addition to acquiring scientific knowledge and understanding. As well as stimulating natural curiosity, the challenging course should prepare you well for employment or higher education. The course requires high level skills within English Language (communication and comprehension), Mathematics and data interpretation.

Course content

We follow the AQA specification, an examination board which is well known for its rigour and academic standards.

At AS level students study 4 topics. 1- Biological Molecules: All life on Earth shares a common chemistry. This topic is a study of the molecules that make up living organisms e.g. proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids. 2- Cells: All life on Earth exists as cells. This topic looks at how they function using the organelles within. 3- Organisms exchange substances with their environment: The internal environment of a cell or organism is different from its external environment. This topic looks at how substances are exchanged between the internal and external environments. 4- Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms: Differences between species reflect genetic differences. This topic looks at how differences between individuals within a species could be the result of genetic factors, of environmental factors, or a combination of both.

  At A level students study an additional 4 topics. A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. 5- Energy transfers in and between organisms: Life depends on continuous transfers of energy. This topic looks at how respiration and photosynthesis are the two most important reactions that allow this transfer. 6- Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments: A stimulus is a change in the internal or external environment. This topic looks at how a receptor detects a stimulus, a coordinator formulates a suitable response to a stimulus and an effector produces a response. 7- Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems: The theory of evolution underpins modern Biology. This topic looks at how all new species arise from existing species living in changing environmental conditions. 8- The control of gene expression: Cells are able to control their metabolic activities by regulating the transcription and translation of their genome. This topic looks at the many factors that control the expression of genes.

Entry requirements

2 x Grade 6 in Science subjects

GCSE English Language & Maths at Grade 5 or better plus at least 3 additional GCSE at Grade 4 or better



Paper 1 Written Exam 1hour 30 minutes (Sections 1-4) 50% of AS

Paper 2 Written Exam 1hour 30 minutes (Sections 1-4) 50% of AS


Paper 1 Written Exam 2 hour (Sections 1-4) 35% of A Level

Paper 2 Written Exam 2 hour (Sections 5-8) 35% of A Level

Paper 3 Written Exam 2 hour (Section 1-8, including relevant practical skills) 30% of A Level

Future opportunities

A-Level Biology is an excellent preparation for degrees in Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Science, Nursing, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Conservation, Neuroscience, Biomedical-Sciences, Agriculture, Physiology, Genetics, Food Science and other related courses, even science-based Journalism. Many students have pursued careers in the paramedical services, industry and teaching.

Further information

We have a dedicated team of staff who are experienced, passionate about the subject and committed to your success. You will enhance your practical skills and understanding with use of specialist A-Level equipment such as binocular microscopes, colorimeters and electrophoresis kits. A wide range of extra-curricular activities will be available to you including a freshwater stream study to examine Biodiversity and a residential field course in collaboration with Edge Hill University to carry out field techniques. Our highest performing students compete in the Society of Biology Quiz at a local University where they attempt to out-smart other high-flying Biologists from the North West.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 10 November 2017
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