Windsor Sixth Form, Richmond Street, Halesowen, B63 4BB
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a level biology

Biology A Level

A level Biology builds upon the key concepts and skills you have already learnt at GCSE to further support and inspire you to a future in biological sciences and medicine. Biology involves the study of a wide range of exciting topics, ranging from molecular biology to the study of ecosystems and from microorganisms to mammoths.

The knowledge and understanding of Biology enables us to have a greater understanding of the world we live in and therefore develop ideas and opinions about future improvements. The practical element of this course is crucial and numerous opportunities are available for you to take part in both laboratory experiments and field studies in order to prepare for future study. Biologists work in the fields of cell biology, medicine, food production and ecology and the work they do is vital to us all.

The course will help you develop a number of skills:

  • How to collect data and evaluate it
  • How to investigate facts and use deduction
  • How to put over your point of view effectively
  • How to take responsibility for your own learning

What you will study

Year 12

In Year 12 you will learn:

  • Biological molecules
  • Cells
  • Organisms exchange surfaces and their environment
  • Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

Year 13

In Year 13 you will learn:

  • Energy transfers in and between organisms
  • Organisms respond to changes to their internal and external environments
  • Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  • The control of gene expression

How the course is assessed

Paper 1

  • Any content from topics 1–4, including relevant practical skills 
  • Assessed
  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 91 marks
  • 35% of A Level
  • Questions
  • 76 marks: a mixture of short and long answer questions 
  • 15 marks: extended response questions

Paper 2

  • Any content from topics 5–8, including relevant practical skills 
  • Assessed
  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 91 marks
  • 35% of A Level
  • Questions
  • 76 marks: a mixture of short and long answer questions 
  • 15 marks: comprehension question

Paper 3

  • Any content from topics 1–8, including relevant practical skills 
  • Assessed
  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 78 marks
  • 30% of A Level
  • Questions
  • 38 marks: structured questions, including practical techniques
  • 15 marks: critical analysis of given experimental data
  • 25 marks: one essay from a choice of two titles

Entry requirements

  • Five subjects at grade 4 or above including English and Maths
  • Grade 6 or above at GCSE Biology or Grade 6 in Combined Science. Grade 6 Maths is also recommended

Why study A Level Biology at Windsor Sixth Form?

  • Small class sizes - You will gain more individual time with teachers to support and guide you on your journey.   
  • Partnership with University of Birmingham - Opportunities to attend lectures and lab experience days
  • Outstanding progression - Many students go on to study healthcare or science related subjects at university.

Other courses that go well with biology

  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • PE
  • Sociology
  • Applied Science
  • Geography
  • Environmental studies
  • Health and social care
  • Critical thinking
  • Environmental studies
  • Science is society

What you can do after the course

Biology is a great choice for people who want a career in science, health and clinical professions such as:

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Veterinary science
  • Physiotherapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Optometry
  • Nursing
  • Zoology
  • Marine biology
  • Forensic science
  • Microbiology
  • Environmental science

It is a very versatile A Level and is one that is well respected by universities and employers all over the country. It may be combined with relatively unrelated subjects, like law or business studies, for it develops skills in numeracy, reasoning, problem solving, communication and research.

Student success stories

  • Student 1 - University of Birmingham to study medicine 
  • Student 2 - Worcester university to study midwifery 
  • Student 3 - University of Birmingham to study medicine