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Biology GCSE at St Brendan's Sixth Form College

Course description

This AQA course enables students to explore the vast and exciting world of Biology!

The diverse range of topics includes how the human body works, how plants photosynthesise, our impact on the environment and evolution.

The course provides an excellent understanding of the human body and how it functions as well as the world around us and our impact on it. This is an intensive one-year course designed for students who wish to build upon existing knowledge gained from secondary Sciences to achieve a grade 4 or above in a Science GCSE.

Traditionally taught at secondary level over a much longer time period, this course is fast-paced with lots to learn so students need to be highly motivated and hard-working independent learners! Students wishing to enter the health care professions or primary teaching in the future who require a grade 4 or 5 in a Science GCSE would be ideally suited. 

This is a complimentary course for students alongside their AS/A2 studies and although available for Level 2, students must be prepared for a challenging course and have good written communication and mathematical skills.

Students must also complete a number of required practical assessments. Questions on the written exams test the knowledge and understanding students have gained through completion of the practical assessments.

Course content

Topics 1-4 (50%)

  • Cell Biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and Response
  • Bioenergetics

Topics 5-7 (50%)

  • Homeostasis and Response
  • Inheritance
  • Variation and Evolution
  • Ecology

Entry requirements

  • Minimum of 5 general qualifications, such as GCSEs, of which four must be at Grade 4 including GCSE English Language, or a Level 1 BTEC Certificate at Merit or above
  • GCSE Core and Additional Science or GCSE Biology at 3 minimum
  • Students who have achieved below grade 3 are unsuitable for this course.


During lessons students are encouraged to contribute ideas, work with other students and make appropriate notes. Theory is reinforced by practical work where appropriate to the specification.

Topics 1-4 are tested in a 1 hour 45 minute written exam (50% marks). 

Topics 5-7 are tested in another 1 hour 45 minute written exam (50% marks). 

Future opportunities

Students achieving at least grade 4 or higher can use it as an entry qualification to the A Level Biology or Applied Science (Applied Biology) Level 3 BTEC Subsidiary Diploma course.

Students completing this course successfully have gone on to study Primary Teaching, Nursing and other healthcare related courses at university.

Further information

Dedicated, well-resourced science laboratories are used for lessons. A textbook and revision guide is provided (on loan) to all students. The college Learning Resource Centre (LRC) provides a well-stocked section of Biology books and access to on-line resources.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Brendan's Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 24 October 2016

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