A level Biology is a course designed to develop understanding of a variety of key biological systems. This includes the components of cells, the molecules which make up living things and the reactions between them. It also compares the systems found in plants and animals which are necessary for life. In the second year, a more integrated approach to considering biological systems is needed as we learn about how different parts of the body and different populations interact in the topics of communication and ecology.
Throughout the course, we also develop a variety of investigative practical skills, including use of scientific equipment, presentation and analysis of data and evaluation of techniques.
There will be an increased push towards exams as the preferred form of assessment. Coursework content in some subjects will be reduced or removed. The course may involve a mix of assignments and examinations.
The course will be delivered in dedicated and well equipped teaching rooms and modern and well-equipped laboratory spaces at Leeds Sixth Form, Park Lane Campus. Within our dedicated 'Sixth Form' area, students also have access to a permanently staffed 'Independent Learning Zone', where comfortable seating and a suite of 60 chrome-books are provided to facilitate independent study.
The general requirements for direct entry to our 2 year A level programmes are 5 GCSEs including English and Maths at grade A*-C or equivalent, plus 2 additional GCSEs or BTECs at grade A*-C or the equivalent.
For students applying with new 1-9 grade tier GCSE qualifications in Maths or English, we will consider a grade 4 as equivalent to grade C in terms of our general entry requirements for September 2017 entry. However please be aware that specific subjects may require grade 5 or above in GCSE English or Maths.
Applicants with 5 GCSEs at grade A*-C including English and Maths, but without the 2 additional A*-C equivalent qualifications may be considered, dependent on individual circumstances, at the discretion of the Deputy Head or Head of A levels.
Students with a GCSE average score of below 5.7 (mostly Cs at GCSE) will follow the 3 A level programme, whilst students with a GCSE average score of 5.7 (mostly B and above at GCSE) or above are encouraged to study 4 A level subjects. Our expert staff will help you to work out your expected average GCSE score for guidance.
In addition to our general entry criteria, some subjects have their own additional criteria.
Additional Entry Criteria: Either GCSE A*-B in Biology and another science (or in Core and Additional Science) and GCSE Grade A*-B/9-5 in GCSE Maths.
More than 70% of our A level Biology students from last year are applying for Biology-related university courses. We have excellent progression rates with students gaining places in Biology, Neuroscience, Food and Nutrition and Medicine.