Accessibility links

Biology A Level at Ashington Community High School

Course description

The course contains topics that are designed to further stimulate students’ interest in the subject by placing a strong emphasis on how Biology relates to their everyday lives. In addition to subject content, students are taught skills that will enable them to critically analyse and evaluate topical issues which surround them. This will allow students to make well-informed decisions which are based on considering different points of view.

Course content

There are eight units taught over two years:
- Unit 1: Biological molecules
- Unit 2: Cells
- Unit 3: Exchange with the environment
- Unit 4: Genetic information and variation
- Unit 5: Energy transfers
- Unit 6: Response to changes in internal and external environments
- Unit 7: Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
- Unit 8: The control of gene expression

All 8 units are examined over 3 exams in June of the second year of study for the A Level qualification.

Over the 2 years, 12 practical skills will be taught and teacher-assessed in lessons for the awarding of the practical skills endorsement.

Entry requirements

Students will need to achieve grades A*- B in GCSE Biology or Dual Award Science. However, for students who have studied dual award, we will also look at individual marks for biology modules and compare these to national averages.

The course requires a good level of mathematical and literacy skill from the students. As such, we ask that students achieve grade 5 or above in both GCSE Mathematics and English Language or Literature.

You will need to be able to manage your time well and make full use of the facilities both during free periods and after school. Independent study skills and a high degree of motivation are vital. The course is challenging but extremely interesting and highly rewarding in terms of the future career paths that are possible with a good A Level pass in Biology.


Students learn in a variety of different ways and this is reflected in how this course is taught. The following strategies will be used: teacher-led activities, interactive student presentations, group discussions, practical investigations and independent research tasks.

There is strong focus on practical skills and techniques as the students will also be working towards their practical skills endorsement which is a standalone qualification and will be important if students want to pursue the sciences at university

Future opportunities

A qualification in Biology opens many doors in terms of future career paths. This course is a prerequisite to almost all courses offered in Higher Education that have a link with Biology. Examples of future careers include: medicine; dentistry; nursing; veterinary science; medical research; environmental research and sports science.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ashington Community High School directly.

Last updated date: 12 September 2017

Key information