Important Information


Main Reception will close from 12:45 on Thursday 11 July. Main Reception will be open from 9am to 3pm only from Monday 12 August until Wednesday 28 August. Normal college Reception opening hours will commence at 8am on Thursday 29 August. The college site will be open, except on Bank Holiday Monday 26 August, however, most staff will be unavailable. If you need to contact a Department by email, please take a look at our Contact Us page.

Biology A Level

Qualification: GCE A Level in Biology
Exam Board: WJEC Eduqas; Specification
Course Entry Requirements: 4 in English Language GCSE and 5 in Maths GCSEs and 2x Grade 6s in 2 Science GCSEs (Biology plus one other, Combined Science accepted but not Applied Science)
Please make sure that you have understood the overall entry requirements to study at BHASVIC. These are available here and outline the GCSE grades you need to take up one of the Study Programmes at the college.
Length and size of qualification: 2 year single course, equivalent to 1 A level
Timetable hours: 4.5 hours per week
Assessment method: 3 x 2 hour exams plus practical assessments throughout the course
BHASVIC Department: Biology

Emma Hamilton

What will I study?

A full range of fascinating topics, from the details of cell structure to entire eco-systems. You will study animals, plants and micro-organisms; the workings of their cells, evolution and adaptations, and the application of biotechnology to benefit humans. You will discuss the challenges of maintaining bio-diversity and sustainable environmental management. It’s a really good range of topics so that everyone will find areas that interest them! It is also very contextualised to relate it to how the world works around you. Students keep a lab book to evidence their skills. Please note that to support you in your success in this A level, the college may ask you to study one lesson per week of specialised mathematical support, targeted specifically at the content of this A level.

Is this course right for me?

You will enjoy this subject if you: have a real enthusiasm for biology and want to understand the complexity of living organisms and systems; want to understand how society makes decisions about biological issues; enjoy using your practical, mathematical and problem-solving skills and want to develop your skills further. Students will succeed most if they are self-motivated independent learners. Flipped learning is used for all topics, lessons are interactive and build upon independent study. Good with Chemistry, Maths, Psychology, Sport, Environmental Science.

Where next?

The range of courses and work opportunities involving Biology are vast and includes: veterinary science, medicine, dentistry, physiotherapy, sport science, psychology, pharmacy, bio-technology, zoology, marine biology, plant and animal science, cosmetics, healthcare, agriculture, environmental science and many more. There are also a variety of roles within sustainable resource management as the ‘Green’ economy continues to grow. The scientific skills developed through Biology are widely valued and transferrable to the world of work. Biology helps you to build up research, problem solving, organisation and analytical skills. Useful websites to research careers and wider progression options could include the Royal Society of Biology, All About Careers and The Apprenticeship Guide.


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Higher Education - Biology

Last year, 84 BHASVIC students went onto study Biology related degrees at 38 different universities.

Our science students can choose Biology, Zoology a combined science degree such as Biochemistry, Marine Biology and a wide range or related degrees including Healthcare and Engineering. Popular universities for our biologists included Nottingham, Queen Mary, Exeter, Bristol, Sheffield, Southampton and York. In addition, our students go onto study Natural Sciences at Cambridge and Biology and Biochemistry at Oxford.

Should I study Biology at degree level?

Biology is a well-respected degree choice, containing a wide variety of modules, ensuring you can study something that really interests you and making it a good choice for keen scientists. You will have about 20 hours of teaching each week, mainly lectures, but also tutorials and laboratory experiments. Contact time is higher studying science degrees due to lab work. First year topics often include: cell biology, ecology and evolution, molecular genetics, physiology, basic biochemistry, microbiology.

Types of Biology degree

You can choose to study Biology or a closely related subject, for example

· Human Biology

· Marine Biology

· Molecular Biology

· Cell Biology

· Life Sciences

· Anatomy

· Physiology

· Microbiology

Entry Requirements

Many universities will ask for A level biology or equivalent. Some will also ask for an A level Chemistry or Maths depending on the degree you choose to study. If you want to do a degree such as biochemistry or biological sciences, the qualifications you are required to have will differ.

Top Universities for Biology

Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, St Andrews, Durham York, Warwick, Nottingham Trent – all very high student satisfaction scores Kings College, Sussex, Kent - all with top graduate prospects

Many of our students choose a combined degree - applications from our students have included

Molecular and Cellular Biology (with Biotechnology) Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology Biological Sciences (Zoology) with Professional Training Year

Example entry requirements (please check):

A-Level/BTEC equivalents:

Imperial College/A*AA University of East Anglia/BBB University of Brighton/BCC

Why not try a foundation degree or higher apprenticeship?

For example: Laboratory Technician - Glaxo Smithcline

Some examples of Biology-related degrees that our BHASVIC students have gone onto study in the past few years are:

· Animal Science

· Biochemistry

· Bioengineering

· Biological Sciences

· Biology

· Biology with Science & Society

· Biology (With Professional Placement)

· Biology and Sustainable Development

· Biomedical Engineering

· Biomedical Sciences

· Biotechnology

· Ecology and Conservation Biology with Placement Year

· Forensic Biology

· Human Biology (with placement year)

· Human Biosciences

· Human Sciences

· Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology

· Marine Biology with Oceanography

· Marine Zoology

· Medical Genetics

· Molecular and Cellular Biology (with Biotechnology)

· Natural Sciences

· Wildlife Conservation with Zoo Biology

· Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science

· Zoology with Professional Placement

Last year, 109 BHASVIC students went onto study Medical Careers related degrees at 41 different universities.

Courses were varied and included Veterinary Physiotherapy, Diagnostic Radiography, Medicinal Chemistry, Optometry, Podiatry as well as Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedic Science.

In addition, 5 students went onto study Veterinary Scienc, e, including 2 students at Cambridge, and 18 students went onto study Medicine, 1 student at Imperial.

Popular universities included Bristol, Bristol UWE, Royal Veterinary College, Brighton, Nottingham and Southampton.

Should I study a Medical Career at degree level?

Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry are highly competitive but there are a huge range of related degrees that are healthcare related. There is a huge range of healthcare degrees  Nursing and specialism e.g. Adult, Midwifery, Podiatry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy and many more.

Entry Requirements

Medicine is highly competitive – 3 A grades at A level but there may be other pathways. Our BHASVIC MedSoc which students can sign up for on enrolment gives lots of information.

Other healthcare degrees ask for a range of A levels and grades and there may well be opportunities for foundation years to build up scientific skills.

Top Universities for Maths

Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow, Swansea, UCL
Queen Mary’s, Newcastle, Bristol, Sheffield – all very high student satisfaction scores
Aberdeen, Exeter, BSMS, Cardiff - all with 100% top graduate prospects

Many of our students choose a Medical Career degree - applications from our students have included:

  • Diagnostic Radiography
  • Pharmacy with Integrated Foundation Year
  • Adult Nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Physiotherapy

Example entry requirements (please check):

A-Level/BTEC equivalents:

Aberdeen (Medicine)/A*AA
Bath (Pharmacy)/BBC
Liverpool (Nursing)/BBB
Middlesex (Veterinary Nursing with Foundation Year)/DD

Some examples of Healthcare-related degrees that our BHASVIC students have gone onto study in the past few years are:

  • Adult Nursing
  • Applied Medical Sciences
  • Adult Nursing (September) with Foundation Year
  • Animal Behaviour and Welfare (Clinical)
  • Animal Science
  • Applied Anatomy
  • Biological Sciences (Neuroscience)
  • Biomedical Science
  • Bioveterinary Sciences
  • Chemistry with Biological and Medicinal Chemistry
  • Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry
  • Chemistry with Medicinal Sciences
  • Children's Nursing
  • Dental Nursing
  • Diagnostic Radiography
  • Diagnostic Radiography with Foundation Year
  • Extended Medical Degree Programme
  • Exercise, Nutrition and Health
  • Gateway to Medicine
  • Health and Exercise Science
  • Health Professions (Foundation Year)
  • Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science
  • Human Biology (with placement year)
  • Master of Nursing (Adult and Mental Health Dual Registration)
  • Medical Neuroscience
  • Medicinal Chemistry with Pharmacology with a Year Abroad
  • Medical Sciences
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Medicine
  • Medicine and Surgery
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Midwifery: Registered Midwife
  • Neuroscience
  • Nursing (Adult)
  • Nursing (Child)
  • Nursing (Mental Health)
  • Nutritional Sciences
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Oral and Dental Health Sciences (Dental Hygiene and Therapy)
  • Osteopathy
  • Paramedic Science
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology and Innovative Therapeutics
  • Physiological Science
  • Physiotherapy
  • Physics with Medical Applications
  • Physiotherapy with Integrated Masters
  • Podiatry
  • Sexual Health
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Veterinary Nursing
  • Veterinary Gateway Programme
  • Veterinary Nursing and Companion Animal Behaviour
  • Veterinary Physiotherapy (with Placement)

Medical-related studies are vocational, developing practical and clinical capabilities, as well as the professional and personal attributes necessary to follow chosen careersCivil Service

There are over 60 specialist areas of medicine; information on each can be found at NHS Health Careers

  • Anaesthetist
  • Healthcare scientist, genomics
  • International aid/development worker
  • Medicinal chemist
  • Mental health nurse
  • Neurologist
  • Research scientist (life sciences)
  • Science writer

Career Prospects

If you choose to go onto medicine and healthcare there are lots of different specialties to choose from.

Nursing is the subject with the most degree graduates. We'll always need nurses in this country, so it's no surprise to see that the very large majority of nursing graduates go on to become nurses, and that starting salaries are pretty competitive. There are lots of different specialties to choose from (including midwifery), and the most common by far is adult nursing, but the typical end result for graduates is the same – they go on to become nurses (or midwives).

Local Market Information

It is worth checking out the NHS Healthcare Apprenticeship route. This could be a good way to going into a Healthcare-related career without needing to go down the degree route. Severe shortages across many NHS sectors mean that Healthcare professionals are highly sought after.

Examples of apprenticeships and opportunities include:

  • Team Administrator NHS Foundation Trust
  • Paediatric Occupational Therapist
  • Study for a Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support

We have an excellent careers page and careers advisors who are available for appointments.

You will gain many transferable skills studying Medical careers that will be valued in the workplace including:

Teamwork, IT & Technology, Problem solving, Social Skills, Organisation, Numeracy, Communication, Attention to detail, Creative thinking, Analytics, Project Management

Local Skills

The Local Skills agenda considers job prospects and employment in our local area of Sussex. Many of our students will contribute to the National Skills agenda and go onto find a career in a wide range of sectors. For students in Sussex our local skills are identified as the following sectors:

Engineering and Manufacturing        
Digital (includes IT and Technology)
Visitor and Cultural Industries (includes Hospitality, Cultural & Arts)          
Land-based (includes Agriculture and Viticulture)   
Health and Care (includes Bio Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical) 

Degree choices our BHASVIC students went onto study that match the Local Skills agenda for Healthcare include:

  • Adult Nursing
  • Applied Medical Sciences
  • Applied Psychology (Clinical)
  • British Sign Language (Interpreting, Translating and Applied Language Studies)
  • Chemistry with Biological and Medicinal Chemistry
  • Children's Nursing
  • Counselling and Mental Health
  • Exercise, Nutrition and Health
  • Health and Exercise Science
  • Health Professions (Foundation Year)
  • Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science
  • Medicinal Chemistry with Pharmacology with a Year Abroad
  • Medicine
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing (Adult)
  • Nursing (Child)
  • Nursing Child and Mental Health
  • Nutritional Sciences
  • Optometry
  • Osteopathy
  • Paramedic Science
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences (Foundation)
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology and Innovative Therapeutics
  • Pharmacy
  • Physics with Medical Applications
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychology with Clinical Psychology
  • Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychology with Mental Health
  • Psychology with Neuroscience
  • Psychology, Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Sport and Exercise Science with Foundation Year
  • Sport Rehabilitation
  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
  • Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science
  • Sports & Exercise Therapy
  • Veterinary Medicine