Course Type: Full Time

AS/A Level Biology

  • Course Code CG60068
  • Start Date 6th September 2018
  • Duration 1 year
  • Campus Baltic Campus

Course title: AS/A Level Biology

Exam board detail: AQA

Type of qualification: A Level (to be studied in conjunction with two other A Level subjects)

Delivery hours per week: 6 hours (1.5-hour lessons)


Section 1: Subject Overview

Biology is relevant to every aspect of your life. You don't have to be a brilliant mathematician nor do you have to deal in symbols all the time. You don't even have to learn lots of Latin names any more. However, you do study the life that exists on Earth from minute viruses to gigantic Blue Whales. Strange as it may seem, all organisms can be investigated using overall questions, including: How do they get from one place to another? How do they obtain their energy? And, finally, how do they avoid becoming an energy source for other organisms?

An understanding of the principles of Biology allows students to appreciate not only how our bodies work and how diseases stop them working, but also the fragility of life on Earth. In addition, a Biologist understands the potential benefits and dangers of Genetic Engineering. Once you grasp the full significance of Biology be prepared to look at the world in a new light because some day a Biologist may change it beyond recognition.


To study Biology you must be prepared to ask difficult questions. You have to reject the bland unscientific statements and sound bites that the media throw at you and be prepared to appreciate all around you from a biological standpoint. It has to be said that you will have to learn a lot of detailed facts and apply them in an intelligent manner. If you are inquisitive about the world, you will love Biology.


AS Biology:

The first year in Biology places a great emphasis on knowledge and understanding of key biological theory: breathing, cells, circulation, classification, differentiation, digestion, disease, diversity, enzymes, exchange, genetic code, immunity, molecules, pathogens, reproduction, risk factors, transport systems, variation.


In terms of assessment, there are two exam paper 1hour 30 minutes each.


A Level Biology:

The second year modules lead to a full A Level in Biology and the emphasis is on application and analysis of the key concepts learnt on the AS course plus concepts of: co-ordination, ecosystems, energy transfer, gene cloning techniques, gene expression, homeostasis, inheritance, mutations, nutrient cycles, photosynthesis, populations, respiration, selection, speciation.


In terms of assessment, there are three exam papers 2hours each.


Section 2: Assessment Overview

Assessment methods include:

Frequent Topic Tests

Mock Assessments

Practical Assessments

External assessments (exams) will take place in the summer term – May/June.


Section 3: What do other students study alongside Biology at A Level?

Many of our students who choose to study Biology, will also study another science subject and/or Maths. However, there are grade implications with this subject. An A grade at GCSE in Science must be achieved to secure your place on this course.

Few students will choose to study Psychology, or English alongside Biology.


Section 4: What are the possible career opportunities after successful completion of this course?

Biology is one of the top 'facilitator subjects' required to enter good courses at outstanding universities. Universities are becoming increasingly aware of this they are looking for biology as an indicator of analytical skill. Many students, after studying with us want to continue with biology at university but their choice of courses may then be limited by lack of Chemistry in their A level portfolio. Biology is a prerequisite for most Medicine and Veterinary science programmes at university and is important in the growing world of biotechnology and pharmacology


The range of degrees you could study include Medicine, Veterinary Science or Dentistry degrees plus Marine Biology, Biotechnology, Pathology, Toxicology, and Pharmacology. The top universities and employers are looking for a science at A Level as an indication of analytical skills; so other Biology students choose degree subjects such as Economics and Business Studies. As everyone becomes aware of climate change, there is also a growing interest in degree courses on Environmental Sciences. Biology A Level is an essential entry requirement for all these courses.


Section 5: How can I find out more if I have a question?


Biology Teachers – ruth.wilson@gateshead.ac.uk and jon.moody@gateshead.ac.uk   

Curriculum Operations Manager - sarah.latheron@gateshead.ac.uk





An interview is required and guidance is required.

How to apply

You can register your interest for this course online, call 0191 490 2246 or email start@gateshead.ac.uk.

Qualifications needed

Average grade 6 GCSE profile (Higher entry criteria is required for anyone looking to study Maths and/or Sciences at A Level). However, if you do not meet this profile please still come to an Open Event to discuss all options with a member of the A Level Team.

Required experience

We welcome applicants without prior experience.

This course is free to those aged 19 years and under.

Most people aged 19 years and over can qualify for free or reduced course fees. This depends on your individual circumstances.

If you already have a full level 3 qualification and are aged 19 or over you can apply for an Advanced Learning Loan or pay the fee in full upfront, minus a 10% discount.

You can get more information at our Enrolment Events, by calling 0191 490 2246 or email us at start@gateshead.ac.uk

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