Biology A level

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Course Overview

A subject for life

All living things are made of cells and if you are interested in how cells work and why living organisms are the way they are, then A-level Biology is for you. We all started as a single cell and that cell had to gain energy, grow and reproduce; we share this with all other organisms.

Biology provides an incredibly wide breadth of knowledge on humans and other organisms, and touches on a huge range of topics from the detailed structure and biochemistry of cells, to the internal working of organisms in physiology, to the interdependence of living things in ecology. It also deals with social issues including human influences on the environment and the ethical considerations of genetics.

The study of Biology is relevant to our lives today and in the future. We are in a world that needs people with the skills that you acquire when you train as a biologist. For example, the knowledge of how DNA works to control cells (gene expression) is fundamental to future advances in Biology and impacts on many medical innovations such as cancer treatments.

Why choose St. Michael’s for A-level Biology?

There are a number of reasons why choosing St. Michael’s School for A-level biology could be a great decision. Some of these reasons include:

  • High levels of individual attention, with small group sizes
  • Personalised learning approach to get the very best from each student
  • Interactive teaching strategies
  • Investigative approach
  • Exam focus
  • Thorough assessment and written feedback
  • Well-equipped laboratory, with regularly serviced microscopes and an excellent selection of microscopy resources.
  • Detailed core text book and 2 exam board specific revision guides issued to every pupil
  • ICT based learning materials
  • Highly experienced Biology teachers
  • Interesting work resulting in stimulating lessons

What are the Entry Requirements?

A good grounding in Biology is essential – preferably an A* or A at GCSE. The best preparation would be a separate GCSE in Biology. You will also need to be competent in Mathematics and Chemistry. You can combine Biology with any subjects but you will find that studying Chemistry or Geography may help you in particular. You need to have a good level of English, both written and spoken. You should have a curiosity about the subject and the ability to think for yourself.

What is the WJEC AS/A-level Biology course content and how are pupils assessed?

The specification we follow is the WJEC GCE Biology course at both AS and A level.
The AS examinations form a stand-alone qualification or they constitute 40% of the A level.
Grades awarded at AS level scale from A to E. Grades awarded at A level scale from A* to A.
Students will be provided with a WJEC textbook for each year of study: WJEC Biology for AS level and WJEC Biology for A2 level.
This specification is divided into a total of 5 units, 2 AS units and 3 A2 units. Weightings noted below are expressed in terms of the full A-level qualification.

CLICK HERE for more module detail and the recommended reading list

Where does A-level Biology lead?

Past students have gone onto study many different degree courses. These include Pharmacy, Medicine, Biomedical Science, Dental Technology, Dentistry, Veterinary Sciences, Law, Psychology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Accounting and Finance. The list is very varied and reflects the fact that Biology is a valued A-level that leads to the development of a critical, analytical approach to information by students who can present their conclusions coherently.

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