Bolton School Sixth Form Boys

Biology

What will I study?

You will study a variety of biological processes including, the molecular biology of the cell, biochemistry, genetics, ecology and human and plant physiology. Through an experimental approach you will develop your understanding through first hand observations of your own work. If you opt to take the full A-Level course you will be invited to join our residential fieldwork trip in Aberystwyth at the end of Year 12.

The course content is enriched in a number of ways:

  • Through special biology seminars given by University professors or other experts in their field.
  • Experienced AQA examiners within the department offering insight and advice.
  • Involvement with the Biological Science Review student committee and Young Scientists Journal.
  • Literary review in Year 12 to allow independent research and experience of scientific writing.
  • Independent tutorial style work in Year 13 to develop skills for university.
  • Practical workshops at Manchester University to support A-Level topics.
  • The biennial Operation Wallacea expedition, which has included Indonesia (2011), Madagascar (2013), Peru (2015), Dominica (2017) and the forthcoming trip to South Africa (2019).

How will I be assessed?

The specification followed will be AQA GCE Biology. In each of years 12 and 13 different units will be studied and will be examined as outlined below:

A-Level

Exams at the end of Year 13.

Three two-hour exams; Paper 1 (35%), Paper 2 (35%), Paper 3 (30%). 

Desirable requirements

Students that succeed in A-Level Biology have usually achieved at least a grade B in their GCSE examination, either from the dual award or separate science syllabuses. In special circumstances, students with a lower grade may take up the course where we feel that the student will adopt a committed approach and has the academic potential to benefit from the course.

Where will it lead?

Many of our students have used their Biology A-Level to gain entry to Natural Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Marine Biology, Zoology and a wide variety of Biological Sciences at University. An increasing number of students use it to broaden their science background as they aim for a course in the Humanities, Engineering and Technology.