BIOLOGY

A-level

Award

A level

Course Level

Level 3

Duration

2 years full-time

Entry

September

Fees

View Fees

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Unique learning opportunities with our Department of Health

Explore biology deeper with our interactive digital anatomy tables

From the intricate molecular world inside our cells to how our body systems work and the dynamic interactions between organisms and their environment, A-level Biology is the study of life in all its rich complexity.  

A-level Biology encourages curiosity and develops scientific understanding, practical dexterity and mathematical problem-solving. More than ever, we need society to fully appreciate the fragility of our planet and take daring steps towards the conservation of our natural world. A-level Biology will not only develop you as a scientist, but will empower you to lead those around you into a more sustainable future.   

With our world-class facilities, you can use VR-modelling to experience different health scenarios, explore human anatomy using our body-sized, interactive touch screens, monitor physiological responses inside our six-bed ward and understand effects of exercise with our elite sport facilities. We provide leadership opportunities through student-led Medic clubs, engage with national competitions, and have numerous specialist lecturers from fields including occupational and physiotherapy, nursing, paramedics, midwifery, dietetics, skincare and sport.

Discover biology-related careers through trips and visits, talks from industry and 1-1 support from our careers and apprenticeships teams, achieve even greater success with tutorials delivered by our own undergraduate students and dig deeper using our extensive e-library, ensuring your learning is up-to-date with scientific research, giving you the edge when applying for university, apprenticeships and employment.  

Why choose A-levels at our sixth form centre?

  • PREPARE FOR UNIVERSITY AT A UNIVERSITY – We can provide you with relevant work placements, masterclasses, guest speakers, trips and more
  • AWARD-WINNING SUPPORT – We have won national awards for our student support, which our sixth form students can tap into, from tailored academic support to financial assistance and health and wellbeing services
  • OUTSTANDING LEARNING FACILITIES - We have invested £5.5 million into our brand-new sixth form centre, which includes lecture theatres, classrooms, science and computer labs, practical training facilities and open study spaces
  • MOVE UP TO UNIVERSITY – Want to keep studying at a higher level? This A-level will support your progression to degree level
Find out more about our sixth form centre and our vision for our A-level students. View video.

Course breakdown

Practical activities run regularly throughout the course. To achieve your Biology A-level, you must study the following topics:

Cells

  • Cell structure  
  • Cell membranes  
  • Cell division  
  • Cell membranes and transport
  • Molecules and enzymes  

Anatomy and physiology

  • Gas exchange systems  
  • Circulation system  
  • Excretory system  
  • Neuronal and hormonal communication systems  
  • Respiration  
  • Photosynthesis  

Disease  

  • Microbiology  
  • Immunity  
  • Drug development 

Genetics

  • DNA structure and replication  
  • Inheritance  
  • Cloning  
  • Biotechnology  

Biodiversity  

  • Adaptations and evolution  
  • Classification  
  • Ecosystems  
  • Populations  
  • Sustainability 

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

  • You will need 4 GCSE at grade 5 or above, including a grade 5 in GCSE Science and Maths to study this A-level.

Supporting documents required

  • School applicants will be required to provide a school report, which must include attendance. This will be assessed in conjunction with your qualifications and application during the confirmation of your place at University College Birmingham.

Guaranteed progression

Students who achieve 56 UCAS points or more from this qualification will automatically be guaranteed a place on a degree course at University College Birmingham. Some undergraduate courses require additional entry requirements, so applicants are advised to check entry requirements before applying.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

You will be assessed through three written examination papers (Summer of Year 2) plus a practical endorsement for biology.   

Exam papers contain questions that will also test your understanding of experimental work and mathematical skills.  

Over the two-year course, you are expected to complete a mandatory set of experiments and you will gain a certificate as evidence of your competency, the Practical Endorsement.  

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.

Enhanced Learning Opportunity - Core Maths

To support and extend your learning experience at the sixth form centre, we are offering students on this particular A-level course the additional opportunity to study Core Maths. 

Level 3 Mathematical Studies (Core Maths)  

Core Maths, a one-year course equivalent to an AS-level (half an A-level), is an engaging and diverse course that gives you an excellent preparation for your future. It is about using maths to solve meaningful, real-life problems, as well as developing your data handling and critical analysis skills, equipping you with the essential quantitative skills you need for many careers and degrees. 

We are creating something unique and special for Birmingham and I am delighted you are considering us for your next steps. Studying A-levels requires discipline and determination, but it is also incredibly rewarding, offering you a deep insight into the subjects you choose to study. Sixth form is also an opportunity for you to discover what’s important to you and how you want to make your mark on the world. Our aim is to support and challenge you through this, while developing your character and widening your horizons so you flourish, professionally and personally. 

Rebecca Tigue Sixth Form Centre Principal

What will this course prepare you for?

A-level Biology is essential for most medicine, dentistry and veterinary degrees. Specialist biological research areas include immunology, biochemistry, pharmacology, genetics and neuroscience. A-level Biology is often a requirement in more applied fields such as food technology, forensics, horticulture, conservation, environmental science and agriculture, and is useful in rapidly advancing fields such as biomechanics, bioinformatics and AI. It is also highly valued on psychology and humanities courses.   

A-level Biology is useful for careers in nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, sport therapy and fitness, nutritionist, pharmacy, radiography and other healthcare vocations. 

The example roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Nurse

Average Salary: £30,000

Midwife

Average Salary: £28,803

Sports therapist

Average salary: £17,000 – £37,000

Physiotherapist

Average Salary: £33,834

Pharmacist

Average Salary: £48,000

Radiographer

Average Salary: £45,000

Hired

We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 

 

Find out more

Our new sixth form centre

University College Birmingham is to begin offering a range of A-level courses as part of a major multi-million-pound investment in a brand-new sixth form centre.

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