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BIOLOGY

A LEVEL

You’re remarkable. Now find out why and how with Biology - the study of life.

We’re all simply a collection of organic compounds, converting energy to growth, change, and reproduction.

Yet every day we make life-changing discoveries. Biologists have helped us develop better medicines and treatments for diseases, understand how a changing environment might affect plants and animals, grow enough food for everyone and predict how sticking to an exercise regime could change our bodies.

This is a spectacular science. It’s built on chemistry, which is built on physics, on maths. 

Choose Biology and you’re getting an access-all-areas pass to not only who we are, but how we got here.

Biologists know why we are not so different to trees and bees. The secrets of DNA – and why it’s our operating manual. And how viruses hijack cells, take them hostage and force them to make new viruses.

As a community of practice we’re only just beginning to understand biology at the molecular level. There’s never been a better time to study this A-level.

You’re literally learning about how life happens. And through constant experimentation and research. If you’re constantly curious and always seeking solutions and answers to big questions, Biology is where you need to be. 

How do we start with inanimate molecules and atoms, ending up with complex living things? Join us on this amazing course as we discover the story of life.

LESSON TIME!

Mrs Andrews and Mr Simpson are going to teach us all about lactose intolerance – a condition that affects up to 70% of the world’s population, including cats.

Lactose is a molecule. And unless it gets hydrolysed (broken down) by the lactase enzyme, bacteria ferment it and cause symptoms of intolerance.

In today’s lesson we’ll show through a fascinating experiment how biologists in a lab setting can force lactose in milk to be broken down making it safe to drink for those who are lactose intolerant.

Fascinating facts:

  • In Greek, bio means life and logos means study.
  • Molecular biologists discovered the COVID-19 vaccine, a single-stranded molecule of RNA (mRNA) corresponding to the genetic sequence of a gene that’s read by a ribosome during a process known as protein synthesis.
  • Lactose is broken down by an enzyme into the galactose and glucose monosaccharides.
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What’s next?

Accordion Content

Your future may be in any field – but one thing’s for sure: study biology and you’ll be entering it with your eyes wide open.

There are lots more ideas at prospects.ac.uk

Specialise in a single organism type – perhaps through Zoology, the study of animals, botany (plants), or Microbiology (really tiny things called microorganisms). 

Combine subjects such as bioengineering, and research artificial organs or imaging the body using technology like MRI scanning. or astrobiology – and join the hunt for ET! Physiology is all about how living things work. Biochemistry looks at how medicines affect the body, while ecology looks at how organisms interact with their environment – such as how bees aren’t so happy with us humans right now because of all the pollution and agricultural challenges of overpopulation.

Component 1:

Biological molecules

Component 2:

Cells

Component 3:

Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

Component 4:

Organisms exchange substances with their environment

Component 5:

Energy transfers in and between organisms

Component 6:

Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments

Component 7:

Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems

Component 8:

The control of gene expression

Entry requirements:

Six good passes at GCSE including two at grade 6 or above

Course specific entry requirements:

Grade 6, 6 and 6 from two Sciences and Mathematics (one of which must be Biology or Combined Science GCSE)

If you wish to take two Science A Levels, you will need Grade 6, 6 and 7 from two Sciences and Mathematics

Course duration:

2 years

Assessment methods:

3 final exams

Course type:

Linear A-level

Exam board:

AQA

All students are provided with carefully prepared booklets of notes and past exam questions specific to the units being studied. Regular homeworks and tests are used to assess your progress and develop your interpretation of exam questions.

All the Biology staff are enthusiastic, experienced teachers and use a variety of learning resources including powerpoints, on-line activities, DVD’s, animations and practical investigations. There are also fieldwork activities, lectures at Universities and visits to Chester zoo and research institutes.

Getting an offer to study Medicine at Oxford was an extremely proud moment for me and my family. Xaverian has served as a basis for allowing me to propel forward towards achieving my dreams. They have supported me along my journey towards applying to medical school and helped me reach my goals.

Tawfik Al-Terawi, Biology

North West Science Network

Fancy the chance to experience life at the University of Oxford?

Xaverian College offers Year 12 science students the chance to take part in a week-long Corpus Christi summer school, a highlight of the North West Science Network’s packed calendar of events.

We’re the Greater Manchester hub for the NWSN, which also features lectures by celebrated scientists, regional laboratory visits, and a Maths Study Day – featuring lectures and interactive workshops exploring diverse topics from cancer research to jet engine propulsion.

RELATED COURSES

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COMPLEMENTARY COURSES

Did you know that you don’t have to study all three sciences to get into Medicine at university? Your final A Level can be in any subject that you enjoy, as long as you achieve the grade your chosen university requires. Why not consider one of the following:

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