Why Choose Biology?
‘About 3.8 billion years ago, on a planet called Earth, certain molecules combined to form particularly large and intricate structures called organisms. The story of organisms is called biology’
Yuval Noah Harari
Biology is the study of life. It is not just an exploration of everything that has happened on this planet over the last 3.8 billion years, but also of what may happen in the next 3.8 billion years. Studying Biology helps us to make sense of the world around us and develop the skills needed to make the right decisions for that world and its future.
By studying Biology, you will be developing a strong base of knowledge that will enable you to have the skills to progress in an array of important and exciting careers. The knowledge and skills developed whilst studying Biology will also enable you to make informed decisions throughout your life about various issues. Genetic engineering, use of antibiotics, vaccination and biodiversity will all be pertinent topics of discussion for people across the world throughout the 21st century.
What will you learn?
Throughout the A Level course, we will be investigating a number of different aspects of Biology. We will look at biological molecules that are important for life and its functioning. We will investigate how these molecules interact to form whole organisms. We will explore the anatomy of a range of organisms and suggest why certain forms have evolved over time. We will also explore the impact that humans are having on Earth, and we will identify challenges and possible solutions to these.
Alongside the biological content, we will also be developing our practical skills. There are 12 core practicals, which we will explore in detail. We will use these practicals to build evidence to achieve the practical skills endorsement that many universities will be expecting their students to have.
Why study Biology at Ashmole Sixth Form?
Expectations of students studying A Level Biology are high, but so too are the levels of support that are provided. Students who study Biology at Ashmole Sixth Form, are taught by experienced, dedicated teachers. All of our A Level teachers have regular meetings with exam boards, to ensure knowledge of exam specifications is up to date. All the A Level teachers have degrees in different aspects of Biology and are specialists in their respective fields. Regular revision sessions are delivered by all teachers and teachers also have regular one-to-one meetings with their students.
A wealth of resources is provided to students on our Firefly area, and the course textbook is provided online for pupils free of charge. This enables pupils to have access to a textbook on any internet-enabled device. For those students who prefer physical copies of the textbook, the Biology department has an arrangement with the publisher to provide these at a price that would not be possible from any other retail outlet.
The Biology department offers a huge level of support for pupils when applying to university. This can come in many forms but often involves practice interviews and review of personal statements. Those pupils who are hoping to study medicine or other health care related careers can make use of our fantastic MedSoc that runs regular events for students.
Which subjects go well with Biology?
The following is an example of subjects that complement the programme of study followed by the Biology A Level course: Chemistry, Maths, Geography, Psychology and Physics.
Where will it lead you?
The following is just a small selection of careers that people can develop with qualifications in Biology:
Agronomist, Animal Behaviour Scientist, Animal Welfare Officer, Biochemist, Biotechnologist, Cheese Production Supervisor, Conservation Biologist, Environmental Analyst, Environmental Ecologist, Environmental Manager, Environmental Officer, Fisheries Scientist, Food and Drink Technologist, Forestry Technician, Genetics Technician, Marine Biologist, Meat Biochemist, Medical Sciences Technician, Nursery Grower, Plant Pathologist, Plant Physiologist, Quarantine Officer, Research Manager, Secondary School Science Teacher, Zoologist.
For more information on subject content structure please click here for the Sixth Form Information Booklet.
For admissions criteria for each subject please click here for the Sixth Form Prospectus
“Studying Biology as a whole, not only allows you to access a wider range of jobs in future, but it also provides you with opportunities like attending multiple lectures held at countless universities, as well as speakers who are invited to come and talk to you about a particular area of biology.”
"I am currently a Year 12 student studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths for A-level. In the future, I aspire to study medicine at university, and specialise in cardiology. When I first ever thought about selecting three subjects that I wanted to carry on with in my studies, I immediately thought about the subjects that most fascinated me. Personally, I found Biology, Chemistry and Maths the most compelling and appealing, and through further research, I realised that studying Sciences and Maths at A-levels meant that a vast range of different courses are available to be studied at university.
Studying Biology as a whole, not only allows you to access a wider range of jobs in future, but it also provides you with opportunities like attending multiple lectures held at countless universities, as well as speakers who are invited to come to talk to you about a particular area of biology.
Personally, I find the Biology department puts in a lot of effort and time to ensure that each lesson is at its highest standard, and taught in a detailed and effective, but simple way. Each lesson consists of learning the content, discussing what was learnt by doing group tasks and applying your own knowledge into past exam questions. Biology is a subject that requires a lot of independent study, where you will be required to complete all ‘flipped learning’ tasks, to gain an understanding of what to expect during that particular lesson and wider readings, which enable you to enhance your understanding and knowledge on a specific topic area beyond the specification."
‘Teachers are very supportive and approachable so if you can’t comprehend a concept they ensure they take to time to make sure you understand…’
"I always knew I wanted to do sciences at A-level, which one however is where the challenge of picking began. Biology seemed the most intriguing as an inquisitive individual who wanted to know how we as humans and the world around us works - so far many of my queries have been answered, from how our own heart and lungs function to how scientists have utilised microorganisms to our own advantage. You should absolutely study Biology at A-level as it is a well-credited subject and opens up many doors at university, as it requires a level of understanding and application, which are essential in many aspects of life.
Not only will it enhance your interpretation skills but it is also a captivating subject, you will be in awe at how much you learn and how relatable it is to your life. Teachers are very supportive and approachable so if you can’t comprehend a concept they ensure they take time to make sure you understand. As you will be learning so much, it is key that you partake in wider reading and flipped learning (such as reading scientific articles) that your teacher sets, this furthers your understanding, and develops your independence, which is a fundamental part of university. I aspire to study dentistry; it and any other course require all the skills you will learn if you choose Biology as an A-level."
To hear from our former students click here