A Level pathways are designed to prepare you for higher education and beyond, be it another degree into research or a wide range of careers. As part of the A level programme students will be encouraged to complete a week of work experience. We support students applying for Masterclasses at universities, placements and programmes to help students to progress to a University. Previous science students have completed programmes such as the Nuffield Science placement and the University of Birmingham Routes to Progressions scheme for Medicine to assist with their university applications. In addition to quiet study areas in the learning zone we offer quiet study rooms for A level students. We have access to e-journals, e-books and books. The college also holds activities for British Science Week ‘Meet the Scientist’ event. We also hold A level revision workshops and conferences as part of development of study skills. The science department has links with Coventry University.
The study of Biology requires the construction of sound foundations through the study of several fundamental concepts in the first year and the early part of the second year. In the remainder of the course these concepts must coalesce into a coherent whole before moving onto more difficult ideas and their application in the wider world. Biology complements other STEM subjects such as Chemistry, Physics, Psychology and Maths. Teaching is delivered in a variety of formats and includes 10 % of online learning through Moodle and Kerboodle.
OCR A Syllabus is followed Year 1: Biological molecules; Cells; organisms exchange substances with their environment; Genetic Information variation and relationships between organisms. Year 2: Energy transfers in and between organisms; Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environment; Genetics, populations, evolution and the ecosystem; The control of gene expression. You will learn about the applications of biology in a theoretical and practical context. Interpretation and evaluation of scientific information be developed. 10% of the assessment on A level Biology contains Mathematical Skills which includes statistics and overlaps with Psychology. Practical endorsement 15% of assessment on A level Biology will be based on knowledge, skills and understanding on practical skills. You will carry out at least 12 practicals over the two years. Tutors will observe and assess students' competencies in practical work to achieve a practical endorsement. There will be two papers at the end of the first year and three papers at the end of the years assessing the last two years content.
Year 1 of A level Biology requires 5 GCSEs at grades A**-C with B (6) in two from triple or Double Science. Minimum C (5) in English and B (6) in maths is required. Your overall GCSE scores will be taken into consideration. . Successful enrolment is subject to satisfactory induction period. You may also wish to consider an alternative such as the BTEC level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science which is a mixture of coursework and exams.
Past students have gone on to study Pharmacy, Medicine, Medical Genetics, Radiography, Psychology, Nursing, Optometry Chemical Engineering, Teaching and Aviation Science to name a few. There are many opportunities open to you if you have an A level in Biology, such as teaching; scientific research; working in industry; healthcare; nursing; medicine, pharmacy; pharmacology; biomedical sciences; the life sciences; neuroscience; genetics; agriculture; horticulture and animals. For all of these, you need to take another relevant higher level qualification such as a degree, or foundation degree, depending on the career's entry requirements. Of course, higher education is not for everyone, so if you don't progress to higher education you will find employers will favour the many transferable skills you will have acquired during your study of A level Biology.