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Science in Society A-Level at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College

Course description

This course will be of interest to both science and non-science students. It is a nonpractical course which considers historical and contemporary issues in science such as genetics, medical ethics, evolution, health issues, fuels and electricity supplies, air pollution, radiation and cosmology.

Course content

Unit 1: Exploring Key Scientific Issues will cover:

  • The germ theory of disease, infectious diseases and global public health issues
  • Medicines, ethical issues and reproductive choices
  • Lifestyle, transport choices and fuel issues
  • The planet Earth in the context of the solar system and the universe
  • The human race in the context of evolution and society

Unit 2: Reading and Writing about Science will cover:

  • A critical account of scientific reading
  • The study of a topical scientific issue
How it is taught

This is an enrichment course which is taught for 2 hours per week.

Students are provided with an excellent textbook that explains the necessary scientific facts, gives everyday examples and applications, poses questions for discussion and gives data for analysis. Lessons involve a variety of activities, with more opportunities for discussion than in other science subjects. Students have to carry out regular reading and research outside lessons. There is no experimental practical work.

Entry requirements

The usual entry requirement to QE is 5 GCSE grades at C or above including Maths or English. A good number of students study four AS Levels in their first year and to do this we require at least 3B grades and 3C grades at GCSE including Maths and English Language. Students who do not achieve these GCSE grades take fewer subjects at A Level and will be required to do resits in GCSE Maths and English if they have not already achieved a grade C in these core subjects. The College is large enough to have a very flexible timetable that allows students to take almost any combination of subjects at A Level. The advantage of this system is that we can tailor your programme to suit your needs and abilities. We give lots of advice if you decide to apply to the College.

Subject Specific

The course is offered as an enrichment option to second year students who are studying at least one science subject. Students studying Applied Science will need detailed guidance from their science teacher before opting for this course.

A grade C in any Science GCSE and a grade C in GCSE English Language or Literature.


Unit 1

Exploring Issues (60%) - 2 hours - June

Unit 2

Reading and Research (40%) - June

Unit 1 consists of structured questions.

Unit 2 consists of two pieces of coursework, one an individual research task and the other a review of a popular science book of the student’s choosing.

Future opportunities

The course provides breadth to any Advanced Level programme of study, and earns UCAS points towards a university offer in the same way as any other AS course. It could be an advantage to students applying for very competitive courses such as medicine, veterinary science or journalism, or to Oxbridge. There are degree courses in the public understanding of science, leading to careers in the promotion of science e.g. in the media, museums, education.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 17 April 2015
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