How do different substances pass into and out of cells? How is your heart controlled to beat faster when you exercise? Why do plant stems become thinner in the middle of the day? Why do some cells become cancerous? Biology is a natural choice if you’re interested in a career in Medicine or Veterinary Sciences but it is an interesting subject in its own right and will leave your options open to a variety of different career pathways. You’ll study living organisms from the molecular level right up to understanding how communities interact with the environment.
You should normally have achieved at least five GCSEs at grade 9-4.
It is essential that you have gained at least grade 6 in Biology or 6/6 in Science.
Part of the course will include Chemistry and 10% of the course is Mathematics. You do not need to follow these subjects at A Level, although a grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics is preferred. As there is an essay component to the assessments and lots of new terminology to learn it is important that you have good English skills.
You will work through the interactive packs of notes in lessons and enjoy the frequent use of mini whiteboards and card sorting activities. Regular practical classes allow you to develop laboratory skills which are assessed continuously, leading to the Practical Endorsement. If you apply to competitive courses such as Medicine, you are fully supported throughout your application. We organise many trips ranging from University lectures to a Marine Biology Expedition.
100% exams and practical endorsement.
Three exam papers – Paper 1: Topics 1 – 4, Paper 2: Topics 5 – 8, Paper 3: Topics 1 – 8. See Structure section for topics.
10% of assessment will contain mathematical skills equivalent to Level 2 or above. At least 15% will assess knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to practical work. You will carry out the 12 required practicals to pass the Practical Endorsement.
Optional trips from £10 each
"Biology at Alton is challenging, but with the right attitude it is rewarding and enjoyable. The longer lessons sound daunting but we are able to cover lots of the subject material and it frees up time during the week so that you can revise what you have learned, and take some well earned rest too."Josh Podger, previously at The Petersfield School
"I find A level Biology so interesting as we delve into so much more details than at GCSE, allowing me to explore a wide range of captivating topics. The longer lessons allow me to focus on one subject at a time so I can take in the larger picture and understand the subject much better."Jessica Dewhurst, previously at Robert May's School