This course is aimed at students who wish to cover key biological theories and processes to further their knowledge from GCSE level science, perhaps with a view to progress on to university.

About the Course

This course will suit you if you wish to have career or study a degree in a biological science, and will enable you get an introduction to more complex theory than you will have covered at GCSE. You will also develop the necessary practical and analytical skills needed for further study. 

On A Level Biology you will study a wide range of key elements, such as human, animal and plant cells; biological molecules, genetics and ecology.

At the end of two years you will sit examinations, so you will need to acquire a thorough understanding of all the different topics you have studied. You will also benefit from this A Level if you enjoy the intellectual challenge of the work.

Key Units

Year 1 (AS Level)

  • Biological molecules (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, enzymes, nucleic acids)
  • Cells and cell structure and membranes
  • Transport (osmosis, diffusion, active transport) as well as plant transport
  • The cardiovascular system
  • The gas exchange system

You will also cover an ecology module, look at evolution, and explain the immune response in infectious disease as well as looking at non-infectious diseases such as coronary heart disease. 

Year 2 (A Level)

  • Nervous and hormonal control of systems
  • The biochemistry of respiration and photosynthesis, 
  • Excretion
  • Genetics and gene technology (cloning, and genetic engineering)
  • Ecology 

Practical work features heavily on the course and you will complete a series of practicals to fulfil the practical endorsement aspect of the course. 

What else will I gain?

You will develop practical and investigative skills, as well as numerical skills (10% of the Biology A Level). You will also have the opportunity for group work which will develop your communication and literacy skills, helping you to interpret questions and provide logical answers.

Entry Requirements

To study 3 A Levels:

5+ GCSEs grades 9-4 in different subjects, including English Language and Maths at a minimum of grade 4/C.

Additional Requirements

  • 9-6 in Maths
  • 9-6 in Biology if taking separate sciences
  • 9-6 in Double Science / Core Science AND Additional Science (not applied or vocational Science)

The Sheffield Sixth Form welcomes students who have studied vocational qualifications. However, the minimum entry requirements for the A Level programme, as shown above, must be GCSEs.


There will be exams at the end of two years, plus a compulsory practical endorsement portfolio which does not count to the final A Level grade but is required to study any science related degree at university.

Where does this Lead

Many of our science A Level students progress to university to continue their studies in a variety of course areas, including (but not limited to):

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Pharmacology/Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Nursing
  • Medicine/Biomedical Sciences
  • Psychology 

Future Opportunities

Biology could prepare you for a wide range of scientific careers including:

  • Medicine
  • Veterinary Science
  • Genetics
  • Forensic Science
  • Ecology
  • Agriculture

Some students go on to scientific careers in industrial or medical laboratories via Apprenticeships. Even if you don’t end up as a scientist, the skills you develop will be relevant to a wide range of careers.

Tell Me More

Personal Study Time

A Level students are expected to devote as much time outside the classroom to their studies as in lessons. Homework is set on a regular basis and it is expected that students will work independently of set work in order to broaden their knowledge.

Why study this course at The Sheffield Sixth Form?

All classes are delivered in purpose built laboratories. You will learn from specialist highly qualified staff with a range of academic and science work related backgrounds.

  • Course: P00235
  • Start Date: September 2023
  • Level: 3
  • Area: A Levels
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Category: School Leavers

Typical entry requirements:

To study 3 A Levels:

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or higher, including English Language and Maths 

Please note:

  • BTEC or vocational qualifications will not be accepted in place of GCSEs
  • International applicants must also have IELTS 6.0

Additional Requirements

9-6 in Maths
9-6 in Biology if taking separate sciences
9-6 in Double Science / Core Science AND Additional Science (not applied or vocational Science)