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Biology A Level at Sheffield College

Course description

This course is aimed at students who wish to cover key biological theories and processes to further their knowledge from science GCSEs. This course will suit you if you wish to have a career or study a degree in a biological science. It will enable you to get an introduction to more complex theory than you will have covered at GCSE, as well as develop the necessary practical and analytical skills needed for further study. Examinations are at the end of two years so will require a thorough understanding of the different topics and you will enjoy the intellectual challenge of the work.

What will I learn?

In year one you will study the key concepts of Biology such as biological molecules (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, enzymes, nucleic acids), Cells and cell structure and membranes, transport (osmosis, diffusion, active transport) as well as plant transport, the cardiovascular system and the gas exchange system. You will also cover an ecology module and look at evolution and explain the immune response in infectious disease as well as look at non-infectious diseases such as coronary heart disease. During the second year you will study topics such as nervous and hormonal control of systems, the biochemistry of respiration and photosynthesis, excretion, genetics and gene technology (cloning, and genetic engineering), and ecology. Practical work features heavily on the course and you will complete a series of practicals to fulfil the practical endorsement aspect of the course.

What else will I gain?

You will develop practical and investigative skills as well as numerical skills (10% of the Biology A Level). You will have the opportunity for group work developing communication skills as well as literacy – to interpret questions and provide logical answers.

Why study this course at The Sheffield College? 

All classes are delivered in purpose built laboratories. You will learn from specialist highly qualified staff with a range of academic and science work related backgrounds.

Course content

What will I need? 

Personal study time - A Level students are expected to devote as much time outside the classroom to their studies as in lessons. Homework is set on a regular basis and it is expected that students will work independently of set work in order to broaden their knowledge.

Entry requirements

To study 3  A Levels: 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above including English Language and Maths

To study 4 A Levels: 5 GCSEs at Grade 5 or above, including English Language and Maths

Additional requirements: 6-9 in Maths, 6-9 in Biology if taking separate sciences/6-9 in Double Science or 6-9 in Core AND Additional Science




There will be exams at the end of two years (plus a compulsory practical endorsement portfolio which does not count to the final A Level grade but is required to study any science related degree at University).


Financial information


At The Sheffield College we will always do our best to support you through your studies, to make them as stress free as possible. We have a specialist support team who can give you all the advice you need on all things financial, including what might be available to you, so that you don’t go short and you can concentrate all your efforts into your studies.

Free meals

If you meet the eligibility criteria we’ll be able to support you with free meals. You’ll get an amount of money that you can use within the college shops and diners per day. This will be added to your student ID card which you will just swipe to purchase items.

Travel passes

Students (including Apprentices) of The Sheffield College who live in South Yorkshire are eligible for a 16–18 Student Pass which entitles pass holders to cheaper travel on buses and trams in South Yorkshire. Pass holders are also entitled to half fare on Northern train services in South Yorkshire.

Learner Support Fund

If you are enrolled with us, you may receive support towards the cost of:

  • Travel

  • Books and materials

  • Uniform and equipment

  • Essential course trips

  • NUS extra

  • DBS checks needed for your course (previously known as CRB)
  • UCAS registration fee and travel to interviews when applying for university

Future opportunities

Where will it lead? 

Many of our science A Level students progress to university to continue their studies in a variety of course areas. Biology could prepare you for a wide range of scientific careers including medicine, veterinary science, genetics, forensic science, ecology or agriculture. Some students go on to scientific careers in industrial or medical laboratories via apprenticeships. Even if you don’t end up as a scientist, the skills you develop will be relevant to a wide range of careers.

Further information

Open Days

Why not come and see for yourself. Visit us on one of our open evenings and meet the people who will be teaching you, have a chat about what the course involves and look round our fantastic facilities where you’ll be learning.

Our City, Hillsborough, Peaks and Olive Grove campuses will be open on the following days:

• Thursday 25th October 2018, 4pm-7pm

• Wednesday 21st November 2018, 4pm-7pm

• Tuesday 29th January 2019, 4pm-7pm

• Monday 4th March 2019, 4pm-7pm

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: 17 September 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: Two years
  • Course code: HRENA1


  • More information
    • Welcome to Hillsborough Campus

      Our Hillsborough campus in the north of the city is our creative hub with Art and Design, Photography, Fashion, and Music all based at the campus alongside more traditional courses such as A-Levels and our strong Sports base.

      The facilities at Hillsborough really have to be seen to be believed (why don’t you check out the tour!) from shiny Mac suites, which there are numerous, to sprung dance studios, a theatre and a TV studio.

      Hillsborough’s not just for those who are confident on the stage or in front of the camera, it also has a stage production workshop for set design and prop making, a wire tension grid which provides a strong, safe and virtually invisible platform for lighting changes to be made.

      Hillsborough also has a gym, a 3G sports pitch and a sports hall which is available for use for all, not just those studying Sport.

      If you need childcare, no problem! The Hillsborough campus has an Ofsted Outstanding rated nursery onsite.


      Hillsborough Campus, Livesey Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S6 2ET

      By Car

      From the M1 take Junction 33 onto the Sheffield Parkway.

      Take a right onto Derek Dooley Way/A61 and follow the A61 for approximately 2 miles.

      When you reach a KFC restaurant on your left and Owlerton Stadium on your right, turn right onto Livesey Street. Hillsborough Campus is located approximately 300 metres down Livesey Street, on the right hand side.


      Unfortunately the only on-site parking available at Hillsborough is for Blue Badge holders (more access information can be found here), however there is pay and display on-street parking and car parks available nearby.

      By Train

      Once you arrive at the station your best bet is to hop on a tram – the train station even has its own tram stop. See the Tram section below for more details.

      By Tram

      Pick up a blue line tram heading towards Malin Bridge and get off at Hillsborough or Hillsborough Park – both of which are around 5 minutes away.

      You can use the Supertram website to plan your journey and get up to date information about fares.

      By Bus

      There are a number of different buses that stop near Hillsborough Campus – too many to list here in fact!

      Check out the Travel South Yorkshire website for further details.

      By Bike

      Hillsborough has secure bike storage on site. Please speak to Student Services to register and gain access to the storage facilities.


      For accessibility information please see the Disabled Go website here.