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Overview

The Kings Advanced Level Foundation is based on A-level syllabuses, taught by A-level teachers, assessed against A-levels and moderated by an independent Advisory Board of external examiners. As such, it is one of the most highly academic and successful pathways to leading UK universities.

Biology is an elective module within the Foundation, and is ideal for students who are interested in studying the subject at university in the UK.

Key Facts

Start Dates:

  • 4 April 2022 (Extended programme only)
  • 27 June 2022 (Extended programme only)
  • 5 September 2022
  • 3 January 2023

Colleges:

  • Bournemouth
  • Brighton
  • London
  • Oxford

Entry level:

  • Academic: Completed 11-12 years of schooling
  • English: IELTS 5.5 or equivalent

Minimum age:

  • 16.5

Length:

  • 1 Academic Year (3 terms)
  • Extended programme: 1-2 Academic Years (4-7 terms)

Lessons:

  • Average 21 hours per week (plus homework and private study)

Class size:

  • 8-12

Learning outcomes

  • The ability to apply the structure of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids to the roles they play in living organisms.
  • An understanding of different organs and their functions in living organisms, the effect of diseases on such systems, diagnosis and treatment.
  • An understanding of the ultrastructure and function of cells, how they divide and the mechanisms of transport across membranes.
  • An understanding of genetic variation and diversity of organisms and the influence of the environment upon them.
  • An understanding of recombinant DNA technology in agriculture, industry, and medicine.
  • Experience of practical Biology in a laboratory environment and conducted their own experiments
  • The ability to apply knowledge and skills at a standard equivalent to Biology A-level.

Course content and structure

The Advanced Level Foundation programme is highly flexible, and able to adapt to the needs and academic aspirations of each student. It does this through a combination of core modules and a series of elective modules which can be combined in different ways to create main subject streams.

Biology is one of the many elective modules offered, and an overview of the syllabus content is shown below.

Term 1

Biological molecules

  • Biological moelcules
  • Enzymes

Cells

  • Cell structure and function
  • Differences between Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes
  • Transport across cell membranes
  • The immune system
  • Vaccinations
  • HIV

Organisms and substance exchange

  • Exchange between organisms and their environment
  • Mechanism of breathing in humans
  • Circulatory system of a mammal
  • Structure of the heart and cardiac cycle
  • Blood vessels

Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

  • DNA, RNA and chromosomes
  • Genese, the triplet code and protein synthesis
  • Mitosis and the cell cycle
  • Mutations
  • Meiosis and genetic variation
  • Genetic diversity and adaptation
  • Selection (antibiotic resistance of bacteria)
  • Species diversity and human activity
  • Investigating diversity (comparisons of DNA,RNA base sequences and amino acid sequences)
  • Courtship behaviour

Investigative and practical skills in Biology

  • Food tests
  • Factors affecting enzyme action such as pH and temperature
  • Microscope work and cell observation
  • Transport across cell membranes-osmosis using potatoes, diffusion
  • Dissection of fish
  • Transpiration experiments-leaf mass,photometer
  • Heart dissection, pulse rate and BP monitor
  • Extraction of DNA from fruit, onion
  • Growth of microbial cultures using aseptic techniques and antibiotic discs
  • Analysis of data and disease to show cause and correlation

Term 2

Energy transfers in and between organisms

  • ATP and Respiration
  • Energy and ecosystems
  • Food chains and energy transfer
  • Nutrient cycles
  • Use of natural and artificial fertilisers

How organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments

  • Homeostasis
  • Feedback mechanisms
  • Hormones and their regulation of blood glucose concentration
  • Diabetes
  • The nephron and its role in osmoregulation

Investigative and practical skills in Biology

  • Fieldwork involving the use of quadrats and the measurement of a specific abiotic factor
  • Collection of quantitative data, from at least one habitat, and analysis of data using statistical tests
  • The use of percentage cover and frequency as measures of abundance
  • Anaerobic respiration in yeast
  • Clinistix tests for glucose.

Term 3

Control of gene expression

  • Gene mutations
  • Stem cells and Totipotentcy
  • Regulation of transcription and translation
  • The production of DNA fragments
  • In vitro and in vivo Gene cloning
  • Gene therapy
  • Genetic screening and counselling
  • Genetic fingerprinting

Investigative and practical skills in Biology

  • Genetic crosses and probability
  • Electrophoresis

Sample subject combinations with Biology

  • Biology, Maths and Chemistry
  • Biology, Maths and Physics

Sample enrichment activities

  • 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

Sample academic calendar (2019-2020)

Year 1

September

  • 9th: term starts
  • Student induction

October

  • 21 – 27th: half term
  • Progress tests

November

  • University fairs and talks

December

  • 13th: term ends
  • End of term exams

January

  • 6th: term starts

February

  • 13th – 14th: half term
  • Progress tests
  • University fairs

March

  • End of term exams
  • 20th: term ends

April

  • 6th: term starts

May

  • Progress tests

June

  • Exams
  • 12th: term ends

Recommended reading

Below is a list of text books normally used on this course, as well as books which may help you prepare for your studies prior to arrival. In many cases the textbooks will be supplied by the school, and you may borrow them for the duration of your time at school. However, if you already know what three subjects you want to choose you may prefer to purchase one before you arrive.

  • AQA Biology A Level Student Book by Ted Lister, Janet Renshaw
  • New Grade 9-1 GCSE Biology AQA Revision Guide
  • New Grade 9-1 Edexcel International GCSE Biology: Revision Guide 

Progression

Below are some of the recent students who took the Biology module, including information about the university they progressed to and the degree course they are doing.

    Recent alumni

    Adaeze Bhema Atube

    • Biology/Chemistry/Physics/CSS/Data
    • University of Surrey 
    • Biomedical Science

    Tsz Ching Hg

    • Biology/Chemistry/Mathematics/CSS/Data
    • University of Nottingham
    • Nutrition 

    Eunyoung Jang

    • Biology/Economics/Mathematics/CSS/Data
    • University of Southampton
    • Criminology and Psychology

    Khemika Klomsuwan

    • Biology/Chemistry/Mathematics/CSS/Data
    • University of Birmingham
    • Biological Science 

    Hon Ming Lam

    • Biology/Chemistry/Mathematics/CSS/Data
    • University of Bristol
    • Pathology and Microbiology

    Ho Kit Leung

    • Biology/Chemistry/Business/CSS/Data
    • Lancaster University
    • Biomedicine 

    Gia Bach Pham

    • Biology/Chemistry/Mathematics/CSS/Data
    • University of Glasgow 
    • Psychology

    Hugo Van Der Straten Waillet

    • Biology/Business/Geography/CSS/Data
    • Queen Mary University of London
    • Environmental Science with Business Management 

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