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Overview

Explore the make-up and evolution of life itself and discover how it adapts to its internal and external environments. Biology is a pre-requisite subject for many degrees in Biological Science and Medical related fields of study. Biologists also develop skills and understanding of scientific methods, data analysis, observation, correlations and causal relationships.

Key Facts

Start Dates:

  • 5 September 2022
  • 3 January 2023

Colleges:

  • Bournemouth
  • Brighton
  • London
  • Oxford

Entry level:

  • Academic: Completed 10 years of schooling (GCSE or equivalent)
  • English: IELTS 5.5 or equivalent

Minimum age:

  • 16

Length:

  • 2 Academic Years (3 terms)
  • We also offer a One-Year A-level in Biology and an entry from Year 12.

Lessons:

  • Average 7 hours per week for each A-level subject (plus homework and private study)

Class size:

  • 4-10

Learning outcomes

  • Gain UK national university entrance qualification
  • Raise English to university level
  • Develop study skills required at degree level
  • Develop specialist subject expertise

Course content and structure

The following syllabus outline is based on AQA exam board content. Please note that exam boards may vary from college to college.

Year 1

Biological molecules

  • Monomers and Polymers
  • Carbohydrates
  • Lipids
  • Proteins
  • Nucleic acids
  • ATP
  • Water
  • Inorganic ions

Cells

  • Cell structure
  • The cell cycle
  • Transport across cell membranes
  • Cell recognition and the immune system

Organisms and substance exchange

  • Surface area to volume ratio
  • Gaseous exchange
  • Digestion and absorption
  • Mass transport
  • Mass transport in animals
  • Mass transport in plants

Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

  • DNA, Genes and chromosomes
  • DNA and protein synthesis
  • Genetic diversity can arise as a result of mutation or during meiosis
  • Genetic diversity and adaptation
  • Species and taxonomy
  • Biodiversity within a community
  • Investigating diversity

Year 2

Energy transfers in and between organisms

  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration
  • Energy and ecosystems
  • Nutrient cycles

How organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments

  • Stimuli, both internal and external
  • Nervous coordination
  • Skeletal muscles as effectors
  • Homeostasis

Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems

  • Inheritance
  • Populations
  • Evolution and speciation
  • Populations in Ecosystems

The control of gene expression

  • Alteration of the sequence of bases in DNA
  • Stem cells
  • Genome projects
  • Gene technologies

Typical A-level subject combinations with Biology

Sample enrichment activities

  • 3-day residential field trip
  • The Big Bang fair, NEC Birmingham
  • Natural History Museum visit
  • Oxford University Science laboratory visit
  • Oxford University School of Medicine visit
  • The Royal Society, London
  • Science Club
  • Science in the News Club
  • Google Science Fair
  • AIM conferences

Sample academic calendar (2021-2022)

Year 1

Sept

6th: term starts
Student induction

Oct

18 – 22nd: half term
Progress tests

Nov

University fairs and talks

Dec

10th: term ends
End of term exams

Jan

3rd: term starts

Feb

10th – 11th: half term
Progress tests
University fairs

Mar

End of term exams
18th: term ends

Apr

4th: term starts

May

Progress tests

June

Exams
10th: term ends

Year 2

Sept

5th Sept: term starts

Oct

17th – 21st: half term
15th October: UCAS deadline (Medicine)
Progress tests

Nov

University fairs and talks

Dec

9th: term ends
End of term exams

    Jan

    2nd: term starts
    15th January: UCAS deadline (other subjects)

    Feb

    9 – 10th: half term
    Progress tests

    Mar

    17th: term ends
    Mock exams

    Apr

    3rd: term starts
    Progress tests

    May

    Final exams

    June

    9th June: term ends

    Recommended reading

    Below is a list of books which may help you prepare for your studies prior to arrival. Please note that additional books, and online resources such as websites and journals will be shared once you begin your course.

    • AQA Biology A Level Student Book by Ted Lister, Janet Renshaw
    • The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
    • Y: The Descent of Men by Steve Jones
    • Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters by Matt Ridley
    • DNA: The Secret of Life by James Watson
    • The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
    • This Is Biology: The Science of the Living World by Ernst Mayr

    Degree progression

    A-level Biology, often in conjunction with other science-based subjects, can lead to the following types of degree course. It is a particularly good choice for people who want to pursue a future career in health and clinical professions.

    • Biomedical Sciences
    • Biochemistry
    • Dentistry
    • Dietetics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Environmental science
    • Forensic Science
    • Geology
    • Medical Science
    • Medicine
    • Nursing
    • Optometry
    • Pharmacy
    • Physiotherapy
    • Sports Science
    • Veterinary Science

    Sample alumni progression

    Aysha Ahmad Sharudin

    • Biology/Chemistry/Maths/Persian
    • University of Exeter (Neuroscience)

    Chun Yu Chan

    • Biology/Chemistry/Maths/Physics
    • Queen’s University Belfast (Medicine)

    Hon Ming Lam

    • Biology/Chemistry/Maths
    • University of Bristol (Pathology)

    Maryam Aghaeinasababad

    • Biology/Chemistry/Maths
    • Royal Veterinary College (Veterinary Medicine)

    Negin Nematiniaye Masooleh

    • Biology/Chemistry/Maths/Persian
    • University of Leeds (Medical Science)

    Pantea Hassannia

    • Biology/Chemistry/Maths/Physics 
    • University of Surrey (Medical Engineering)

    Ping Hei Cheng

    • Biology/Chemistry/Maths/Physics
    • Queen’s University Belfast (Medicine)

    Sadam Raziyev

    • Biology/Chemistry/Maths
    • University of Bristol (Cellular and Molecular Medicine)

    Timofei Fedotov

    • Biology/Maths/Further maths/Physics
    • University of Oxford (Engineering)

    Thank you for your enquiry.
    We'll be in touch soon.
    The Kings Admissions Team