A-Level Biology

Course Information

  • Course Code: 7881-Y1
  • Duration: 2 academic years
  • Validated by: Oxford, Cambridge & RSA.
  • Study mode: Full Time


A-Level Biology is a fascinating subject in its own right but, more importantly, it can open many doors to further academic study and the world of work. Studying Biology at advanced level will give you a blend of the traditional, popular topics and the exciting ‘frontier’ developments. In addition, you will develop good practical and investigative skills. Lessons take place in modern, well-equipped laboratories and are supported by extensive material on the College’s biology moodle site. Student-centred assignments will be used to encourage a more independent approach to the subject, which is a useful preparation for higher education.

What will I study?

In Biology, you will gain an understanding of important concepts and develop a wide range of practical skills. This consists of four modules:

  • Development of practical skills
  • Foundations in biology (cells, biological molecules, nucleic acids, enzymes, membranes, cell division, diversity and organisation)
  • Exchange and transport (exchange surfaces, transport in animals and transport in plants)
  • Biodiversity, evolution and disease (communicable diseases, disease prevention, the immune system, biodiversity, classification and evolution).

The second year consists of two further modules:

  • Communication, homeostasis and energy
  • Genetics, evolution and ecosystems.

Entry Requirements

You will need 4 GCSEs at grade 5 or above, with at least a grade 4 in GCSE English Language. Please note that you will need a grade 5 in Core and Additional Science and Maths. Alternatively, a grade 5 in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths.

How will I be assessed?

A-Level students will be assessed by written exam. In addition your tutor will assess your practical skills.

What can I do next?

It is likely that you will want to go onto further study at university. An A-Level in Biology could help you to get a place on a wide variety of science based degree courses, e.g. Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Physiotherapy, Biology, Genetics, Environmental Science/Biology, Conservation Studies, Applied Biology, Nursing and Midwifery, the list goes on. In short, it provides a solid foundation for progression into a diverse range of science courses as well as humanities based disciplines. Alternatively, it may help you straight into the world of work or some work-based further training.

Your Study Programme

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Career Options


As a biologist you would study living things like plants and animals and the world they live in. If you are interested in the natural world and enjoy practical science then there could be opportunities for you as a biologist.

To become a biologist you will need to have an enquiring mind and good problem solving skills. You will also need to work accurately and pay close attention to detail.

Most employers will expect you to have a relevant degree and a master’s qualification. Some employers might also want you to have, or be working towards, a PhD.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire


Microbiologists use microscopes to study the biology of micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae. You may work in a variety of different sectors, from healthcare to agriculture. If you're a logical thinker with an enquiring mind, and have an interest in the biological sciences, this job could be ideal for you.

You'll need to be good at solving problems and working accurately. Good communication skills will help you get on well with the rest of your team and share your scientific findings.

Most new microbiologists have a degree in a relevant subject such as microbiology, biology, or another biological science with a strong focus on microbiology. Some employers may also prefer you to have a relevant postgraduate qualification and some work experience.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Biomedical Scientist

Biomedical scientists test samples from patients to support doctors and healthcare professionals in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. If you enjoy science and you are interested in medicine and health care, this could be a great job choice for you.

As a biomedical scientist you will need to have an enquiring mind and be good at solving problems. You will need to be able to concentrate for long periods of time and have good attention to detail.

To work as a biomedical scientist you will need a BSc (Hons) degree accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). You will also need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Doctor - GP

General practitioners (GPs) provide medical care for patients in the community. They diagnose and treat illness, disease and infection.

To become a GP, you will need to complete a five-year degree course in medicine and a two-year foundation programme of general training. You will also need specialist training in general practice which will take three years.

A GP needs to have a genuine desire to help people and a sense of responsibility. They need to be able to put people at ease, and gain their trust and confidence. They also need to be able to work under pressure and make quick decisions. If you have these skills, as well as a strong academic ability in science, then a career as a GP could be ideal for you.?

Job Opportunites in Lancashire


Pharmacists provide expert advice on the use and supply of drugs and medicines. As a pharmacist your work would include checking prescriptions, dispensing medicines and making sure that laws controlling medicines are followed.

If you are interested in science and healthcare, this career could be for you. To do this job you will need a high level of scientific understanding and ability. You will also need to be responsible and security-conscious.

Before you can work as a pharmacist, you will need to complete a five-year programme of education and training. This includes a four-year Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree and a one-year pre-registration training course in a pharmacy.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire


As a geneticist, you will study genes. Genes contain the information that controls what a living organism is like, its appearance and how it survives and behaves in its environment. If you have an enquiring mind and are interested in applying your scientific skills, then this may the job for you.

You’ll need practical scientific skills and an interest in life sciences. Excellent written and spoken communication skills will help you to keep records of your findings and share them with others.

Most employers will expect you to have a relevant degree or master’s qualification. Some employers may also expect you to have, or be working towards, a PhD.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire


Dentists diagnose and treat problems affecting the mouth and teeth. They also prevent dental disease and promote oral health. Many work as general dental practitioners (GDPs) in the community, looking after private and NHS patients.

As a dentist you need to have good hand-eye coordination. You will also need excellent communication skills to explain treatments to patients. If you have strong academic skills, particularly in science, and an interest in oral health, then this career could be for you.

Before you can work as a dentist, you will need to complete a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree at university which usually takes five years. You will then need to do one year of postgraduate training, sometimes more, depending on what kind of dentistry you want to specialise in.?????

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

University Plus

For all students looking to progress to university after completing their studies in The Sixth Form, we have introduced a University Plus programme. This includes university interview techniques, the opportunity to take part in an extended project, pre-degree courses in Business, Medicine and Teaching, and an excellent partnership with the UK top 10 Lancaster University, who guarantee interviews for students who meet the entry criteria on their course.

All these options, paired with tutorial activities, could give you an additional 180 UCAS points, giving you the best opportunity to achieve your place at your first choice university and your dream degree.

Academic Study Programme

Our study programme is set to help our students get the most out of their time at Blackburn Sixth Form. Alongside an outstanding education, students will also receive:

  • an A-Level qualification
  • Employability skills
  • Enrichment activities
  • Performance and study skills

Blackburn Sixth Form

Offering our students an academic environment for studying, Blackburn Sixth Form is an excellent location for those looking to excel in their A-Level studies. You have access to:

  • Large Lecture Theatre - built to enable students to get used to university-style learning
  • Common Rooms - a great place for students to enjoy downtime, catch up with friends or hold small revision sessions
  • Industry-standard laboratories - 4 professional laboratories set up for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Our laboratories have helped microbiologists, doctors, pharmacists and veterinary surgeons get into their chosen careers
  • Starbucks - attached to the Sixth Form Centre is Courtyard Cafe, one of three Starbucks Cafes on campus that serve the famous coffee, and at 40% cheaper than the high street.

Sixth Form Guarantee

As a Blackburn Sixth Form student, you can expect:

  • Independent thinking - where your own experiences and observations mould your education.
  • Enrichment activities - that enable you to receive a great education, as well as having fun whilst doing so.
  • Support - a vast amount of support from all staff to ensure you get the results you deserve.
  • A learning environment that is academic, friendly and safe.