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Biology AS/A-Level at Hellesdon High Sixth Form Centre

Course description

What is Biology?

Biology is the study of living organisms and the interactions between them.

Why study Biology?

Biology explains about us! How we work and how the environment and organisms around us work.   

What makes a successful Biology student?

A successful Biology student is hard‐working, good at learning large amounts of information, has good practical skills, learns definitions, is interested in how living things work and reads around a topic and relates concepts in a number of contexts.  

Course content

AS Modules

Module 1 – Development of Practical Skills in Biology Term: continuous This unit assesses the skills of planning, implementing, analysis and evaluation.

Module 2 ‐  Foundations in Biology Term: Year 12 Autumn and continuously revisited in other modules This unit provides an overview of biology, including ultrastructure of a cell, biological molecules, nucleic acids, enzymes, cell division , cell diversity and cellular organisation.  

Module 3 – Exchange and Transport Term:  Year 12 Spring This unit delves in to exchange surfaces, transport systems in animals and plants including the heart and lungs. 

Module 4 – Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease Term:  Year 12 Spring This module investigates commicable diseases and their prevention, the immune system, biodiversity, classification and evolution.  

A Level Modules 

All A2 students will undertake Modules 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Year 12 and will continue with Modules 5 and 6 in   Year 13.

Module5 ‐ Communication, Homeostasis and Energy Term: Year 13 Autumn This unit provides deeper knowledge and understanding of Communication including nerves and hormones. It examines the biochemical pathways of photosynthesis and respiration and introduces the mechanisms of excretion. It also introduces how humans and plants respond to the Environment.

Module 6 ‐ Genetics, evolution and ecosystems Term: Year 13 Spring The material covered in this module includes Cellular Control, patterns of inheritance, manipulating genomes. Cloning, biotechnology, ecosystems and sustainability. I

Entry requirements

To study at Hellesdon High School Sixth Form you will need:

  • SIX GCSEs A* - C Grades will enable you to study FOUR A/S Level courses.

We would advise that a Grade B at GCSE would be a good indicator of potential for A Level but we will discuss this with you. Equally we can discuss options for individuals who may fall short of the six higher grade entry requirements.

When applying for courses you should look to study subjects that:

  • a) You have a strong interest in (and enjoyment of)
  • b) You feel you are successful at
  • c) Your Yr11 teachers have highlighted you are good at.

It may also be useful to investigate university/employment websites if you have a particular interest in following a subject forward after Sixth Form. 

Subject Specific

Students considering Biology must have at least B grades in GCSE Core and Additional Science or B grade in Biology and a B GCSE Maths.


AS Modules

Assessment ‐ Two 1h30’ written papers, worth 50% each.  

A Level Modules 

Assessment – Two 2h15’ written papers, worth 37% each; one 1h30’ paper worth 26%.    Practical endorsement in biology, non‐exam assessment. 

Future opportunities

Biology is a great choice of subject for people who want a career in health and clinical professions, such as medicine, nursing, biochemistry, midwifery, dentistry or forensic science. It will also equip you for a career in industry, for example in the pharmaceutical industry, zoo, veterinary nursing, Horticulture, Microbiology etc

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Hellesdon High Sixth Form Centre directly.

Last updated date: 11 June 2015

Key information