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Biology A-Level at Priestley College

Course description

Biology is the science of life and studies how organisms function and interact. Biology is a wide-ranging science which can affect everyone through medical science and scientific developments such as curing genetic diseases, developing drugs, fertility treatments and improving nutrition. Biologists study changes in the environment and how species are affected and seek solutions to the changes caused by overfishing and deforestation.

Course content

At AS and A-Level you study; Biological molecules, Cells, Organisms exchange substances with their environment, Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms. For A level you will also study; Energy transfers in and between organisms, Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments, Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems and the control of gene expression. There is an emphasis on applying your knowledge to unfamiliar situations as well as application of both maths and practical skills.

Entry requirements

You will work independently and with others to develop your team working skills through practical investigations, role play, model-making and discussions. You will also need to be able to recall large amounts of complex information.  There is an emphasis on data analysis and you will be required to develop and use your maths skills throughout the course, especially as you study statistics at A-Level. You should be prepared to work hard. You should have a minimum GCSE Grade C (Higher Tier) in both GCSE Science and Additional Science or GCSE Biology or Chemistry, together with at least a grade B in Maths (or equivalent). On average your GCSE grades will need to be a combination of Bs and Cs or above.


You take two exams at the end of the one year AS course.  At the end of the two year A-Level course you will sit three exams. Practical skills will be assessed as part of the written exams. In your final A-Level exam you are required to write an essay drawing on knowledge learnt over the entire Biology course. Your progress will be monitored through a range of assessments and progress tests.

Future opportunities

The knowledge and skills you develop will give you a wide range of career opportunities from Medicine, Veterinary Science, Environmental Health, Pharmacy, Sports Science, Animal Health and Psychology to Teaching and Television, Management and Marketing.

Further information

You have the opportunity to study Biology in a wider context through field trips and day trips which may include museum visits, revision conferences, lectures and practical workshops.  We encourage you to broaden your knowledge by giving you ideas about wider reading and offering subscriptions to Biological Sciences Review magazine.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 10 October 2016
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