A Levels

A Levels

We offer a range of academic subjects at A Level. You will be required to select either three or four A Levels. If you have the ability and the desire to pursue four subjects at A level, you will be supported in doing so, but please note that the courses are rigorous, academically challenging and time-consuming.

The A Levels we offer require the highest standards of attainment at GCSE level or the equivalent. As a general rule, you must gain a B grade at GCSE in the subjects you wish to pursue at A Level, although certain subjects require an A grade at GCSE. Where a subject is not offered at GCSE, we will look at closely related courses and your overall academic profile. Please see the individual subject information for details.

Every application is treated on an individual basis.

All students are required to participate in extra-curricular activities as part of the Enrichment programme.


Art and Design

What will I study?

The Art and Design course is intended to deepen and extend students' own creative skills and their understanding of Art and Design practice developing from their GCSE studies. You will have the opportunity to work in painting, drawing and mixed media, sculpture, textiles and photography - including digital where appropriate. You will be encouraged to experiment and be adventurous in expressing your own thoughts, observations and ideas. Observational drawing is fundamental to Art practice and will form the keystone for each project. Students should then develop their ideas into more experimental and possibly abstract outcomes. You will work to set themes and be expected to explore, using a variety of materials, analyse and investigate the work of other artists, craft persons and designers to develop personal final outcomes.

How will I be assessed?

Year 1:

A Level Project 1 - Coursework Portfolio:

Candidates are required to submit two units of Art and Design. Candidates are required to submit final pieces which must be accompanied by preliminary/supporting studies. A coursework unit should be a clearly defined selection of coursework which makes up a whole, demonstrating evidence of the working processes involved, addressing all four assessment objectives and leading to finished pieces.

A Level Project 2 - Mock Examination:

The examination will be based on an AQA examination paper. The Controlled Test consists of a range of questions to be used as starting points. Candidates are required to select one question.

The Controlled Test is in two parts:

  • A preparatory period when candidates carry out their initial research and investigations and identify artists, designers and craftspeople whose work they wish to make connections with;
  • A timed ten-hour unaided test when candidates are required to respond to their initial investigations to create a finished outcome informed by their preparation work. The initial session of the test must be at least three hours' duration.

Projects 1 and 2 can be used to provide inspiration as a platform to build upon when developing the Personal Investigation in Year 2.

Year 2

Component 1 - Personal Investigation (Worth 60% of A Level)

This is a practical unit with written elements where candidates are expected to develop a personal and self-directed investigation based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished piece or pieces. Building from the skills learnt in year 1, students are required to submit final pieces that are accompanied by investigations into artists and show a development of preliminary/supporting studies.

Integrated into the project candidates are required to submit an illustrated written Personal Investigation, of approximately 1000 to 3000 words on an aspect of critical and historical studies in art, craft or design linked with the candidate's own work. This assignment must include an in-depth analysis of artworks and investigations showing a breadth of study. The written element will need to be formally presented.

As the quality of written communication is an important aspect of this component, candidates should consider the following points:

  • Select and use a form and style of writing appropriate to purpose and complex subject matter;
  • Organise relevant information clearly and coherently, using specialist vocabulary when appropriate;
  • Ensure text is legible, and spelling, grammar and punctuation are accurate, so that meaning is clear.

The Personal Investigation will be assessed as a single component. Evidence of addressing the Assessment Objectives must be provided in both visual and written elements and connections between these two elements should be clearly established. Sources should be identified and acknowledged.

Component 2 - Externally Set Assignments (Worth 40% of A Level)

The personal investigation is centre-assessed and moderated by AQA. The Controlled Test consists of a range of questions to be used as starting points. Candidates are required to select one question. Students should build on their knowledge of the mock examination and show a more thorough and deeper understanding of the examination requirements.

The Controlled Test is in two parts:

  • A preparatory period when candidates carry out their initial research and investigations and identify artists, designers and craftspeople whose work they wish to make connections with;
  • A timed fifteen hour unaided test when candidates are required to respond to their initial investigations to create a finished outcome informed by their preparatory work. The initial session of the test must be at least three hours' duration.

All components during the course will need to evidence each objective.

AO1: Develop their ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding;

AO2: Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining their ideas as their work develops;

AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to their intentions, demonstrating an ability to reflect on their work and progress;

AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, making connections between visual and other elements.

What will I need?

Art equipment - although the Academy offers basic equipment students will need to provide their own range of art equipment. A journal (one for each project/component) is essential. This is not optional and is a mandatory requirement of the course. It is vital that you immediately begin to develop a journal for each unit of the course. Your journal is an invaluable tool in supporting your own artistic and creative development. It must contain evidence of the development of ideas and experiments with different materials, processes and possible solutions. It must also contain research into the work of other artists which relates to the work you are developing and this research should appear next to your own studies. In short, without your work journal, it will be virtually impossible to cover all the assessment objectives.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

If students would like to pursue a career in the Arts it can form the first stepping stone of their career path. Students wishing to take the subject further would be advised to take an Art Foundation Course or Art based degree.

Entry requirements:

Grade A* - B in either GCSE Art or Textiles.

Biology

What will I study?

Year 1 (3 Units):

  • Structure and function of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins; enzyme action;
  • Structure and properties of cell membranes; passive and active transport;
  • Structure and role of DNA and RNA;
  • Replication; protein synthesis;
  • Monohybrid inheritance;
  • Gene mutations;
  • Principles of gene therapy; social and ethical issues;
  • Cell structure and ultrastructure of eukaryot and prokaryote cells: cell specialisation;
  • The role of meiosis;
  • Genotype and environmental influence;
  • Stem cell research and its implications;
  • Biodiversity, adaptations and natural selection;
  • Principles of taxonomy;
  • Plant cell structure;
  • Transport of water in plants;
  • Uses of plant products;
  • Students will write a report of between 1500 and 2000 words of research into a biological topic.

Year 2 (3 Units):

  • Photosynthesis; energy transfer within ecosystems;
  • Evidence for global warming;
  • Evolution through natural selection and Speciation;
  • Nutrient recycling;
  • DNA profiling and PCR;
  • Structure of bacteria and viruses;
  • Infectious diseases and immunology;
  • ATP, glycolysis, anaerobic/aerobic respiration;
  • Control and functioning of heart; ventilation and cardiac output;
  • Homeostasis;
  • The nervous system;
  • Impact of exercise on body, and improving performance;
  • Hormonal coordination;
  • Brain structure and development;
  • Imbalances in brain chemicals;
  • Human Genome Project.

Students will complete a written report of an experimental investigation, which they have devised and carried out.

How will I be assessed?

There are three Biology papers.

  • Biological processes - 100 marks - 2 hour 15 minute written paper, worth 37% of total A Level;
  • Biological Diversity - 100 marks - 2 hour 15 minute written paper, worth 37% of total A Level;
  • Unified Biology - 70 marks - 1 hour 30 minute written paper, worth 26% of total A Level.
The Practical Endorsement in Biology - a non-examined assessment which is reported separately.

What will I need?

In addition to a solid GCSE knowledge from either Biology or Additional Science, a good understanding of Maths is also necessary.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

A Level Biology is aimed at students who really enjoy Biology and those who possibly need it for Science-based university courses. It is also aimed at students who are likely to need to use Biology in their career.

Entry requirements:

To be accepted onto this A Level Biology course you will need at least 1 B grade in GCSE Science or Additional Science or a B grade in GCSE Biology.

Business

What will I study?

In the first year you will look at why businesses exist, how businesses set objectives and be introduced to the importance of finance in analysing the performance of a business. You will also look at the study of management and leadership as well, covering an overview into the main functional areas in business and the way they interact with each other. In the second year of the course, first year subject material is explored in more depth, with emphasis on decision-making at boardroom level. This includes assessing business strategy and key decision-making associated with marketing, finance, HR and operations to ensure business success.

How will I be assessed?

All exams are 2 hours and cover the whole specification. They all have 100 marks and they all have an equal weighting of 33.3% of the A Level.

Paper 1: Business 1

Three compulsory sections:

  • Section A has 15 multiple choice questions (MCQs) worth 15 marks;
  • Section B has short answer questions worth 35 marks;
  • Section C has two essay questions (choice of one from two questions on the first section and one from two questions on the second section) each worth 25 marks.

Paper 2: Business 2

Three data response compulsory questions worth approximately 33 marks each and made up of three or four part questions.

Paper 3: Business 3

One compulsory case study followed by approximately six questions.

How will I be assessed?

  • Case-study based examinations;
  • Mini-part data response questions;
  • Essays.

What will I need?

Students will have access to all resources and materials at the College.

What will this course lead to/prepare me for?

Business Studies allows you to access a wide variety of choices at university. For potential employers, Business Studies shows employers that you have knowledge and skills about the business world and is an ideal foundation for the recruitment of students for managerial positions. Business Studies students go on to study or find jobs in a variety of different industries and professions. It's not just for students who want to run their own business. Business Studies is for everyone and research actually shows that students who have business qualifications earn more over their lifetime than other students.

Entry requirements:

  • A grade B or above in GCSE Business Studies/Economics or a Humanities GCSE subject;
  • A grade 4 or above in GCSE English and a grade 5 in GCSE Maths.

Chemistry

What will I study?

Chemistry B (Salters) is a context-led approach. Learners study Chemistry in a range of different contexts, conveying the excitement of contemporary Chemistry. Ideas are introduced in a spiral way with topics introduced in an early part of the course reinforced later. It places a particular emphasis on an investigational and problem-solving approach to practical work.

Year 1:

(EL) Elements of Life

A study of elements and compounds in the universe, the human body and in salt deposits. The chemical ideas in this module are: atomic structure, atomic spectra and electron configurations; mass spectroscopy and isotopes; fusion reactions; chemical equations and amount of substance (moles); titrations and titration; calculations; the periodic table and Group 2 Chemistry; ions: formulae, charge density, tests; bonding and the shapes of molecules.

(DF) Developing Fuels

A study of fuels, what they consist of, how energy involved in their combustion is measured and the contributions that chemists make to the development of better fuels. The chemical ideas in this module are: gas volume calculations; thermochemistry; homogeneous catalysis; organic chemistry: names and combustion of alkanes, alkenes, alcohols; structural and E/Z isomers; shapes of organic molecules, σ- and π-bonds; reactions of alkenes; addition polymers; electrophilic addition; dealing with polluting gases.

(ES) Elements from the Sea

A study of the extraction of halogens from minerals in the sea, together with a study of the properties and uses of these elements and their compounds. The chemical ideas in this teaching module are: Halogen Chemistry; Redox Chemistry; Equilibrium.

(OZ) The Ozone Story

A study of important processes occurring in the ozone layer of the atmosphere. The chemical ideas in this module are: rates of reaction; radical reactions; intermolecular bonding; haloalkanes; nucleophilic substitution reactions; the sustainability of the ozone layer; the electromagnetic spectrum and the interaction of radiation with matter.

(WM) What's in a Medicine?

A study of medicines such as aspirin, leading to much functional group Chemistry and methods of analysis. The chemical ideas in this module are: the chemistry of the -OH group, phenols and alcohols; carboxylic acids and esters; thin layer chromatography; mass spectroscopy and IR spectroscopy.

Year 2:

(CI) The Chemical Industry

A study of how chemists use industrial processes to benefit mankind. The chemical ideas in this module are: equilibrium and equilibrium constant calculations; kinetics; an overview of the effects of factors on the rate and equilibrium yields of reactions, leading to a consideration of the best conditions for an industrial process; aspects of nitrogen chemistry; a discussion of the costs of an industrial process, including hazards and the effect of these processes on society.

(PL) Polymers and Life

A study of condensation polymers, proteins and enzymes. DNA and its use in synthesising proteins. The chemical ideas in this module are: acid-base equilibria; enzyme catalysis and molecular recognition; optical isomerism; the use of proton and carbon-13 NMR to study structure; amines and amides; condensation polymers; amino acid and protein chemistry; the structure and function of DNA and RNA.

(O) Oceans

A study of the role of the oceans in dissolving substances and maintaining pH. The chemical ideas in this module are: dissolving and associated enthalpy changes; solubility products; acid-base equilibria and pH; entropy; the greenhouse effect.

(DM) Developing Metals

A study of the reactions and properties of the transition metals. The chemical ideas in this module are: cells and electrode potentials; d-block chemistry; redox titrations; colorimetry; rusting.

(CD) Colour by Design

A study of dyes and dyeing and the use of chemistry to provide colour to order. The chemical ideas in this module are: carbonyl compounds and their reactions; organic synthesis and polyfunctional compounds; the chemical origins of colour in organic compounds; aromatic compounds; fats and oils; dyes and dyeing.

How will I be assessed?

There are three Chemistry papers:

  • Fundamentals of Chemistry - 110 marks - a 2 hour 15 minute written paper, worth 41% of the total A Level;
  • Scientific Literacy in Chemistry - 100 marks - a 2 hour 15 minute written paper, worth 37% of the total A Level;
  • Practical Skills in Chemistry - 60 marks - 1 hour 30 minute written paper, worth 22% of the total A Level.

The Practical Endorsement in Chemistry - a non-examined assessment which is reported separately.

What will I need?

In addition to a solid GCSE knowledge from either Chemistry or Additional Science, a good understanding of Maths is also necessary.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

A Level Chemistry is aimed at students who really enjoy Chemistry and those who possibly need it for Science-based university courses. It is also aimed at students who are likely to need to use Chemistry in their career.

Entry requirements:

To be accepted onto this A Level Chemistry course you will need at least 1 A grade in GCSE Science or Additional Science or an A grade in GCSE Chemistry

Economics

What will I study?

Economics is concerned with the behaviour of humans as individuals, businesses, organisations and governments, and the choices they make. Behind these choices lies the economic problem - scarce resources and infinite wants. You will study the theories that attempt to explain economic behaviour and realise that there is usually more than one way of interpreting events.

Economics offers an insight into how the world works and will help students to understand many of the big questions facing people today such as:

  • Should Britain have pulled out of Europe?
  • Should the government intervene in the energy market?
  • Should we have plain cigarette packets?
  • Why are footballers paid more than nurses?
  • How did the financial crisis start?
  • Why isn't anyone looking after the environment?

How will I be assessed?

All exams are 2 hours and cover the whole specification. They all have 80 marks and they all have an equal weighting of 33.3% of the A Level.

Paper 1: Markets and Market Failure

  • Section A: data response questions requiring written answers - the choice of one question from two contexts, worth 40 marks;
  • Section B: essay questions requiring written answers - the choice of one question from three offered, worth 40 marks.

Paper 2: National and Internationals Economy

  • Section A: data response questions requiring written answers - the choice of one question from two contexts, worth 40 marks;
  • Section B: essay questions requiring written answers - the choice of one question from three offered, worth 40 marks.

Paper 3: Economic Principles and Issues

  • Section A: multiple choice questions worth 30 marks;
  • Section B: case study questions requiring written answers, worth 50 marks.

What will I need?

Students will have access to all resources and materials at the College.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

Economics allows you to access a wide variety of courses at university where the subject is increasingly well-regarded amongst academic circles. As students develop the knowledge and skills needed to understand and analyse data, think critically about issues and make informed decisions they are well placed to take on managerial positions. As they will also build upon their quantitative skills and appreciate that, when evaluating arguments, both qualitative and quantitative evidence are important they will be especially well equipped to enter careers in employment sectors including banking, accounting, finance, law and retail. With their understanding of the contribution of economics to the wider political and social environment, and its impact on everyday life, students are also well placed for roles in government, the media and big business. The increasingly complex, challenging and fast-paced nature of our interconnected world makes these skills of rational economic thought ever more sought after.

Entry requirements:

Grade 4 or above in English and a grade 5 in Mathematics is necessary. Additionally, grade B in GCSE Business Studies or Economics will be needed. If students have not studied GCSE Business Studies or Economics, a grade B in a Humanities subject will be accepted instead. You do not need to have studied Economics before to take the A Level.

English Language and English Literature

What will I study?

Students opting to study English will follow the AQA English Language and Literature course, with all components involving integrated literary and linguistic study. There are two examinations plus a Personal Investigation at the end of the 2 year course.

Component 1 - Telling Stories:

The three sections of this component consist of the study of the AQA Anthology 'Paris', a set prose text and a selection of poetry. Students will develop their analytical skills by exploring contexts and connections across texts and responding to the fiction and non-fiction texts studied throughout the course. They will learn to use appropriate terminology and analysis in preparation for their final assessment.

Component 2 - Exploring Conflict:

This component allows students to engage with a prose and a drama text. The prose text will be used as a springboard for their own re-creative writing, accompanied by written critical commentaries of their own work. The drama text, chosen from a range set by AQA, will be studied and lead to the writing of a critical linguistic essay in the final examination.

Component 3 - Making Connections:

For this component students will have the opportunity to undertake a Personal Investigation that explores a specific technique or theme in both literary and non-literary discourse. This will take the form of an independently prepared research report, which students write during the course. The report will need to be accurate, fluent and use coherent expression.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1 (externally marked examination):

Students will be required to answer three examination questions. The first question will be an analytical essay question on extracts from the AQA Anthology 'Paris'. For the second question students will be expected to write an essay on a prose set text. This focuses on analysing ways in which meaning is shaped in texts, using literary terminology to support their analysis. The third question will focus on the poetry set text, where students will be expected to analyse poems, using terminology and coherent written expression and making connections between texts.

Component 2 (externally marked examination):

Students will be required to answer two examination questions. The first question will be to produce a re-creative writing task linked to a drama text studied in lesson, as well as a written critical commentary of students' own work, considering language choices made and their effects. The second question will ask students to write an essay on the drama text they have studied, exploring the way the representation of speech is used to present characters, assert power and create conflict.

Component 3 (non-examination assessment):

Students will be required to undertake a Personal Investigation which will answer one question on two texts, one literary and one non-literary. Students will be expected to make links between the texts. They will have free choice of questions, but each question must be approved by the tutor. The question should focus on challenging issues.

What will I need?

Students will have access to all text resources and materials at the College. A pre-reading list will be available for students to prepare themselves for the course ahead. A list of study aids will also be provided.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

Students focusing on qualifications featuring English and English Literature may choose to follow a number of career paths. Those with degrees in English and/or English Literature find opportunities with many different employers, notably publishing, advertising, marketing, public relations, teaching, the media and journalism. The retail, leisure and tourism industries, as well as local/national government agencies and the legal profession, typically recruit graduates who have degrees in this subject area.

Entry requirements:

Students will require a grade 6 in GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature to access this A Level course.

French

What will I study?

Aspects of French-speaking Society - Current Trends and Issues:

  • The changing nature of family;
  • The 'cyber-society';
  • The place of voluntary work;
  • Positive features of a diverse society;
  • Life for the marginalised;
  • How criminals are treated.

Artistic Culture in the French-speaking World:

  • A culture proud of its heritage;
  • Contemporary francophone music;
  • Cinema - the seventh Art form.

Aspects of Political Life in the French-speaking World:

  • Teenagers - the right to vote and political commitment;
  • Demonstrations, strikes - who holds the power?
  • Politics and immigration.

Two works of French Literature will be studied.

Individual Research Project

Students must identify a subject or a key question which is of interest to them, which relates to a country/countries where French is spoken.

How will I be assessed?

At the end of Year 13 you will sit 3 exams:

  • Paper 1 - Listening, reading and writing exam - 2 hours 30 minutes - 40% of A Level
  • Paper 2 - Writing exam on works of Literature - 2 hours - 30% of A Level
  • Oral exam - 21 - 23 minutes - 30% of A Level

Listening exams take place in language laboratories and students have control of the material so are able to pause and rewind as they wish. Speaking exams are conducted by the class teacher.

What will I need?

You will need a good quality dictionary, grammar guide and verb table book as well as a keen interest in languages and an ability to learn vocabulary and grammar rules.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

Students can go on to study French at University and to study or work abroad. The study of a foreign language also enhances employment prospects and provides students with an insight into another culture and society.

Entry requirements:

Grade A*-B at GCSE French. Students with a grade B need to have attained at least a B grade in writing and speaking components and have completed the higher paper for the reading and/or listening elements.

Geography

What will I study?

A Level Units:

Water and Carbon Cycles:

This section considers the importance of water cycles and carbon cycles, which drive our atmospheric and land-related processes. River and rainforest case studies and the concept of climate change will be explored. Coastal Systems and their Landscapes: You will look at the magnificent and dynamic nature of coastal systems, processes and landscapes, together with the strategies that are used to effectively manage them.

Hazards:

Focus will be on both tectonic and climatic hazards, their origin, nature and the way in which people respond to them.

Global Systems and Global Governance:

This section focuses on globalisation and the changing global patterns of transnational organisation growth, trade and technology, the resulting impacts and responses to reduce associated inequalities. There will also be reference to the threats to Antarctica, responses to these threats, and how Antarctica is governed.

Changing Places:

Key focuses include people's experience of places in relation to the lives that they lead, how places are represented and promoted, what contributes to the character of a place and the study of two contrasting places (including Grimsby) and their changing demographic and cultural character.

Contemporary Urban Environments:

You will consider the growth of mass urban areas, the related issues and strategies used in order to maintain a sustainable approach to urban management.

Geographical Investigation:

You will be required to complete a 4000 word independent investigation. This is a teacher-assessed piece of work worth 20% of the A Level. Fieldtrips and data collection will be conducted in groups but you will create your own study questions and produce your own work.

How will I be assessed?

  • Physical Geography Examination - 2 hour 30 minute exam worth 40%;
  • Human Geography Examination - 2 hour 30 minute exam worth 40%
  • Geographical Investigation - 4000 word submitted fieldwork investigation worth 20%

What will I need?

To have enthusiasm to develop new geographical ideas and skills, face new challenges and debate key points. You will be expected to work independently and as a team, as well as have the capacity to undertake research at a range of scales.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

Geography A Level can lead to a range of different employment opportunities, from studying further at Degree level to employment in Conservation, Coastal Management, Education, Digital Mapping, Finance, Information Technology, Management, Town Planning, Tourism, Transport, Surveying, Law, Police Force and many more.

Entry requirements:

Grade A*-B in GCSE Geography. Students must participate in fieldwork, in preparation for examinations at A Level.

Graphic Communication

What will I study?

Students will explore the key areas of Graphic Communication: design for print; typography; illustration; brand identity. Equal emphasis will be placed on hand drawn and digital design. Frequent workshops in industry standard digital software will help you develop your digital skills. Students will respond to a series of design briefs. This course will help you gain the experience and skills needed to work in the modern day design industry.

Course Components:

Year 1:

A Level Project 1 - Coursework Portfolio:

Candidates are required to submit two units of Graphic Communication. Candidates are required to submit final pieces which must be accompanied by preliminary/supporting studies. A coursework unit should be a clearly defined selection of coursework which makes up a whole, demonstrating evidence of the working processes involved, addressing all four assessment objectives and leading to finished pieces.

A Level Project 2 - Mock Examination:

The examination will be based on an AQA examination paper. The Controlled Test consists of a range of questions to be used as starting points. Candidates are required to select one question.

The Controlled Test is in two parts:

  • A preparatory period when candidates carry out their initial research and investigations and identify designers whose work they wish to make connections with;
  • A timed five hour unaided test when candidates are required to respond to their initial investigations and plan further developments. The initial session of the test must be at least two hours' duration.

Projects 1 & 2 can be used to provide inspiration as a platform to build upon when developing the Personal Investigation in Year 2.

Year 2:

Component 1 - Personal Investigation (worth 60% of A Level):

The personal investigation is centre-assessed and moderated by AQA. This a practical unit with written elements in which candidates are expected to develop a personal and self-directed investigation based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished piece or pieces. Building from the skills learnt in year 1, students are required to submit final pieces that are accompanied by investigations into designers and show a development of preliminary/supporting studies. Integrated into the project candidates are required to submit an illustrated written Personal Investigation, of approximately 1000 to 3000 words on an aspect of critical and historical studies in design linked with the candidate's own work. This assignment must include an in-depth analysis of design work and investigations showing a breadth of study. The written element will need to be formally presented.

As the quality of written communication is an important aspect of this component, candidates should consider the following points:

  • select and use a form and style of writing appropriate to purpose and complex subject matter;
  • organise relevant information clearly and coherently, using specialist vocabulary when appropriate;
  • ensure text is legible, and spelling, grammar and punctuation are accurate, so that meaning is clear.

The Personal Investigation will be assessed as a single component. Evidence of addressing the Assessment Objectives must be provided in both visual and written elements and connections between these two elements should be clearly established. Sources should be identified and acknowledged.

Component 2 - Externally Set Assignments (worth 40% of A Level):

This unit is set by AQA, centre-assessed and moderated by AQA. The Controlled Test consists of a range of questions to be used as starting points. Candidates are required to select one question. Students should build on their knowledge of the mock examination and show a more thorough and deeper understanding of the examination requirements.

The Controlled Test is in two parts:
  • A preparatory period when candidates carry out their initial research and investigations and identify designers whose work they wish to make connections with;
  • A timed fifteen hour unaided test when candidates are required to respond to their initial investigations and plan further developments. The initial session of the test must be at least two hours' duration.

How will I be assessed in A Level?

All components during the course will need to evidence each Assessment Objective.

  • AO1 - Develop their ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding;
  • AO2 - Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining their ideas as their work develops;
  • AO3 - Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to their intentions, demonstrating an ability to reflect on their work and progress;
  • AO4 - Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, making connections between visual and other elements.

What will I need?

Although the College offers basic equipment, students will need to provide their own range of equipment. A journal (one for each project/component) - this is not optional and is a mandatory requirement of the course. It is vital that you immediately begin to develop a journal for each unit of the course. Your journal is an invaluable tool in supporting your own creative development. It must contain evidence of the development of ideas and experiments with different materials, processes and possible solutions. It must also contain research into the work of other designers which relates to the work you are developing and this research should appear next to your own studies. In short, without your work journal, it will be virtually impossible to cover all the assessment objectives. Memory stick/ external hard drive (suggested minimum size 8GB).

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

A Level Graphic Communication will help you gain entry to Graphic Design and Illustration courses at University or Art Schools. The subject will also help you to gain skills needed to work in the modern day design industry. A wide range of related career opportunities include web design, computer animation, television, media and film, as well as education.

Entry Requirements:

Grade A*, A or B in GCSE Art. Students with GCSE ICT or Technology (at grade A*, A or B) will be considered but will need to complete a short entry project to establish suitability. Students could still be accepted if grades are not matched - subject to portfolio and teacher interview.

What will I study?

Year 1:

England 1485-1558: the Early Tudors

Key Topics include:

  • The government of Henry VII and threats to his rule;
  • Henry VII's foreign policy;
  • Henry VIII and Wolsey;
  • The reign of Henry VIII after 1529.
  • The French Revolution and the rule of Napoleon 1774-1815.

Key Topics include:

  • The causes of the French Revolution from 1774 and the events of 1789;
  • The Revolution from October 1789 to the Directory 1795;
  • Napoleon Bonaparte to 1807;
  • The decline and fall of Napoleon 1807-1815.

Year 2:

Civil Rights in the USA 1865-1992

This theme focuses on the struggle of citizens in the United States to gain equality before the law without regard to ethnic origin, gender or wealth. The progress made by both African and Native Americans will be examined, as well as the rights of women and trade unions. Candidates should understand the factors which encouraged and discouraged change during this period.

Coursework Unit:

A 3000-4000 word essay on a historical period or topic of interest to the candidate.

How will I be assessed?

  • Unit Y106: a 1 hour 30 minute exam worth 25% of the A Level;
  • Unit Y213: a 1 hour exam worth 15% of the A Level;
  • Unit Y100: This unit consists of one 3000-4000 word essay on a topic of their choice. It is worth 20% of the A Level;
  • Unit Y319: a 2 hour 30 minute written paper worth 40% of the A Level.

What will I need?

You will need a passion for History as a subject and the ability to express your views - and the views of historians with evidence.

What will this course lead to/prepare me for?

As well as a broad range of historical and contemporary contextual knowledge, History develops skills of interpretation and analysis useful in all jobs, including high-flying professional careers in the realms of Politics, Law and the Media. Famous History graduates include ex-PM Gordon Brown, Lawyer Michael Mansfield QC and controversial writer Salmon Rushdie. As well as these professionals, other successful History graduates include Jonathan Ross, Louis Theroux and "The Dictator" star Sacha Baron Cohen.

Entry requirements:

Grade A*- B at GCSE in History.

Cyber Security - Level 3 Technical Award

What will I study?

The UK is now in a situation where very few days will pass without some sort of news article on a breach of IT security somewhere within businesses, the public sector, education, finance or charitable organisations. This often involves data theft, or data loss, as well as intentional acts of sabotage, hacking or other criminal activity. For this reason, the requirement by industry for cyber security staff is on the increase. However, a good cyber security specialist needs to build on thorough understanding of computers, how they communicate and how networks are put together.

There are four units involved in this qualification.

Unit 1 - Fundamental Principles of Computing:

In this unit you will understand the different hardware and elements of a computer system and how these contribute to a fully functioning computer system. You will also develop skills required to make changes to a computer system to ensure they are fit for the particular requirements of the user.

Unit 2 - Communication Technologies:

This unit will provide you with the understanding of data communication, and how data is transmitted at speeds from one point to another.

Unit 3 - Developing and Maintaining Networks:

This unit will provide learners with an understanding of a range of computer networks and methodologies to help them develop simple networks.

Unit 4 - Network Threats and Vulnerabilities:

This unit will equip learners with the knowledge and skills to counteract internal and external threats to networks.

How will I be assessed?

This qualification is made up of 4 units, each with equal weighting. Unit 1 and Unit 2 will be externally examined. Both papers will be 2 hours in length. Unit 3 and Unit 4 will be assessed internally - both written assignments.

What will I need?

An interest in computers and computer based technology which you would like to develop further. Access to a computer and the internet at home would be beneficial although you will have access to this in the Sixth Form.

What will this course lead to/prepare me for?

Learners who achieve this qualification will have a range of options. Progression from this Level 3 technical qualification is designed to be to work in a junior cyber security role. This qualification will also contribute to university entry and will provide opportunities to undertake a range of professional qualifications from vendors such as CompTIA or CISCO. Studying this qualification does not restrict future progression into one particular route.

The following are examples of job opportunities within this sector:

  • IT cyber security administrator;
  • IT cyber security technician.

Companies that might employ someone with this qualification include:

  • any company or internet service provider in this sector;
  • large commercial businesses;
  • the education sector;
  • charities.

Entry requirements:

For this course, you should achieve a grade 4 in GCSE English Language, a grade 5 in GCSE Mathematics and a grade C in Computer Science or GCSE ICT.

Mathematics

What will I study?

A level Mathematics is a course worth studying, not only as a supporting subject for the physical and social sciences, but in its own right. It is challenging but interesting. It builds on work you will have met at GCSE, but also involves new ideas produced by some of the greatest minds of the last millennium.

While studying mathematics you will be expected to:

  • use mathematical skills and knowledge to solve problems;
  • solve problems by using mathematical arguments and logic. You will also have to understand and demonstrate what is meant by proof in mathematics;
  • simplify real-life situations so that you can use mathematics to show what is happening and what might happen in different circumstances;
  • use the mathematics that you learn to solve problems that are given to you in a real-life context;
  • use calculator technology and other resources (such as formulae booklets or statistical tables) effectively and appropriately;
  • understand calculator limitations and when it is inappropriate to use such technology.

Mathematics is rather different from many other subjects. An essential part of mathematical study is the challenge of analysing and solving a problem and the satisfaction and confidence gained from achieving a 'correct' answer. If you choose mathematics you will not have to write essays, but you will need to be able to communicate well in written work to explain your solutions. Mathematics is not about learning facts. You will not achieve success by just reading a textbook or by producing and revising from detailed notes... you actually need to 'do' mathematics.

How will I be assessed?

For A Level Mathematics you will sit three examination papers at the end of year 13. Paper One and Paper Two are both Pure Mathematics papers, whilst Paper Three is the Statistics and Mechanics paper. All examinations are 2 hours long, and each paper is worth one third of the total qualification. There are no optional units for A Level Mathematics. All parts of the course are compulsory.

Pure Mathematics

When studying Pure Mathematics at A Level you will be extending your knowledge of such topics as algebra and trigonometry as well as learning some brand new ideas such as calculus. While many of the ideas you will meet in Pure Mathematics are interesting in their own right, they also serve as an important foundation for other branches of mathematics, especially Mechanics and Statistics.

Mechanics

Mechanics deals with the action of forces on objects. It is therefore concerned with many everyday situations, e.g. the motion of cars, the flight of a cricket ball through the air, the stresses in bridges and the motion of the earth around the sun. Such problems have to be simplified or modelled to make them capable of solution using relatively simple mathematics. The study of Mechanics will enable you to use the mathematical techniques which you learn in Pure Mathematics to help you to produce solutions to these problems. Many of the ideas you will meet in the course form an almost essential introduction to such important modern fields of study such as cybernetics, robotics, bio-mechanics and sports science, as well as the more traditional areas of engineering and physics.

Statistics

When you study Statistics you will learn how to analyse and summarise numerical data in order to arrive at conclusions about them. You will extend the range of probability problems that you looked at in GCSE using the new mathematical techniques learnt in Pure Mathematics. Many of the ideas in this part of the course have applications in a wide range of other fields, from assessing what your car insurance is going to cost to how likely it is that the Earth will be hit by a comet in the next few years. Many of the techniques are used in sciences and social sciences. Even if you are not going on to study or work in these fields, in today's society we are bombarded with information (or data) and the Statistics units will give you useful tools for looking at this information critically and efficiently.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

A level Mathematics is very valuable as a supporting subject to many courses at Advanced GCE and degree level, especially in the sciences and Geography, Psychology, Sociology and medical courses. Advanced GCE Mathematics is a much sought-after qualification for entry to a wide variety of full-time courses in Higher Education. There are also many areas of employment that see a Mathematics Advanced GCE as an important qualification and it is often a requirement for the vocational qualifications related to these areas. Higher Education courses or careers that either require Advanced GCE mathematics or are strongly related include:

  • Economics;
  • Medicine;
  • Architecture;
  • Engineering;
  • Accountancy;
  • Teaching;
  • Psychology;
  • Physics;
  • Computing;
  • Information and Communication Technology.

If you wanted to continue your study of Mathematics after Advanced GCE you could follow a course in Mathematics at degree level or even continue further as a postgraduate and get involved in mathematical research. People entering today's most lucrative industries such as IT, banking and the stock market need to be confident using mathematics on a daily basis. To be sure of this, many employers still look for a traditional Mathematics A Level qualification. Researchers at the London School of Economics have recently found that people who have studied Mathematics can expect to earn up to 11% more than their colleagues - even in the same job! Even in areas where Pure Mathematics isn't required, other mathematics skills learned at A Level, such as logical thinking, problem solving and statistical analysis, are often very desirable in the workplace. Mathematics is the new lingua franca of commerce, business and even journalism.

Entry requirements:

This course is suitable for students who have achieved level 7 or above in GCSE Mathematics. To remain on the course, a pass is required in the Algebra test which all Mathematics students will take during the first 3 weeks of the course. This is irrespective of GCSE result.

Media Studies

What will I study?

This A Level Media Studies specification is based on the theoretical framework for analysing and creating media, which provides learners with the tools to develop a critical understanding and appreciation of the media. The framework consists of four inter-related areas:

  • media language: how the media through their forms, codes, conventions and techniques communicate meanings;
  • representation: how the media portray events, issues, individuals and social groups;
  • media industries: how the media industries' processes of production, distribution and circulation affect media forms and platforms;
  • audiences: how media forms target, reach and address audiences, how audiences interpret and respond to them, and how members of audiences become producers themselves.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: Meaning and Representations in the Media A 2 hour exam worth 30% of the qualification. This component covers all of the following media forms: music videos; video games; advertising; film marketing; newspapers and radio news/current affairs programmes.

Component 2: Media Forms and Products in Depth A 3 hour exam worth 40% of the qualification. This component assesses knowledge and understanding of media language, representation, media industries and audiences.

Component 3: Media Production Non-exam assessment worth 30% of the qualification. An individual media production comprising a single media product created in response to a choice of briefs set by WJEC, applying knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework and digital convergance.

What will I need?

The College will supply text books on loan and industry standard software including:

  • Microsoft Office Suite 2010;
  • Adobe Creative Suite CS6 Master Collection;
  • Serif Multimedia and Drawing Packages;
  • Recording Equipment;
  • Graphics Tablets.

It would be beneficial to have access to the following at home:

  • Personal Computer;
  • Internet Access;
  • Microsoft or Open Office;
  • USB/Storage Device.

Students are encouraged to develop their knowledge further by studying additional books from a reading list.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

This specification provides a suitable foundation for the study of Media Studies or a related area on a range of Higher Education degree courses or for employment in a number of media-related industries.

Entry requirements:

Grade B or above in GCSE ICT, Media or Computer Science and a grade 4 in English Language. Students will still be considered even if they have not studied GCSE Media.

Music

What will I study?

The A Level is made up of 3 units.

Unit 1 - Appraising Music:

There are seven Areas of Study, as follows:

1. Western Classical Tradition 1650-1910 (compulsory);
2. Pop Music;
3. Music for Media;
4. Music for Theatre;
5. Jazz;
6. Contemporary Traditional Music;
7. Art Music since 1910.

Students must study Area of Study 1: Western Classical Tradition 1650-1910 and a choice of two from Areas of Study 2-7.

Area of Study 1 includes:

  • Baroque: the solo concerto;
  • Classical: the operas of Mozart;
  • Romantic: the piano music of Chopin, Brahms and Grieg.

Unit 2 - Performance:

Students must be able to perform music using one or both of the following ways:

  • Instrumental / vocal: as a soloist, and / or as part of an ensemble;
  • Production: via music technology.
  • Students must perform for a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of 12 minutes in total.

Unit 3 - Composition:

Students must learn how to develop musical ideas and compose music that is musically convincing through two compositions. One must be in response to an externally set Brief (Composition 1) and the other a Free Composition (Composition 2). The combined duration of the compositions must be a minimum of four and half minutes, and a maximum of six minutes. Students must be able to compose music for one or both of the following:

  • Instrumental/vocal: produce notated score, written accounts and/or lead sheet by traditional means or by using music software as appropriate;
  • Production: generated entirely digitally, by using music software, without notated score but with accompanying annotation.

How will I be assessed?

Unit 1 - 40%

Examination paper with listening and written questions, using excerpts of music.

Questions focus on:

  • Section A: Listening (56 marks);
  • Section B: Analysis (34 marks);
  • Section C: Essay (30 marks).

Unit 2 - 35%

Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist, or vocalist and/or music production (via technology). A minimum of ten minutes and maximum 12 minutes of performance in total is required. (50 marks).

Unit 3 - 25%

  • Composition 1: Composition to a Brief (25 marks);
  • Composition 2: Free Composition (25 marks);
  • A minimum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required (no more than six minutes).

What will I need?

All music scores will be provided. However, if you are expecting to go on to study Music in Higher Education, you may find it useful to purchase your own copy of scores. You will be expected to buy your own music for the purposes of performances.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

Higher Education Music courses at Music Conservatoires or University Departments. Ultimately this could lead to careers as a performer with orchestras and choirs, teaching, studio work, music retail, music therapy, music media and much more.

Entry requirements:

You will need to have good knowledge of theoretical skills and be a competent performer. Therefore we will expect you to have at least one of the following:

  • GCSE Music minimum grade B;
  • Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity Guildhall);
  • Grade 5 on your main instrument or voice.

Good ICT skills will be necessary if you wish to use music technology for performance or composition. Students must be able to read music.

PE

What will I study?

Candidates will study a range of topics focusing on the physiological, psychological, historical and sociological factors associated with sport and physical activity. You will study how these factors affect the performance of elite athletes.

How will I be assessed?

Students will be assessed at the end of Year 13. To test students' theoretical understanding of the course, they will sit two examinations. Additionally, each student will be assessed as a practical performer in one sporting activity, and expected to analyse their individual performance.

  • Factors affecting participation in physical activity and sport. Written examination, worth 35% of the final grade;
  • Factors affecting optimum performance in physical activity and sport. Written examination, worth 35% of the final grade;
  • Practical performance in physical activity and sport. Students will be assessed playing their chosen sport in a fully competitive game, worth 15% of the final grade.
  • Evaluation of performance. Students will complete a written/verbal analysis of their own performance, worth 15% of the final grade.

Assessment of quantitative skills will make up a minimum of 5% of a student's final grade.

What will I need?

Pupils will require the usual academic equipment as most lessons are theoretically based. There will be practical sessions throughout the course which will require suitable PE kit.

What will this course lead to/prepare me for?

Completion of the course provides an excellent knowledge base which can be utilised in a number of degree courses. The course is ideally suited to those wishing to go on to study Sport Science, Physiology, Psychology, Nutrition or Physiotherapy. There are many career opportunities open to candidates.

Popular routes include:

  • Sport Scientist;
  • Sports Coach;
  • PE Teacher;
  • Physiotherapist;
  • Sports Nutrition;
  • Leisure Management;
  • Sports Psychologist.

Entry requirements:

Those wishing to take the course should have gained a B grade at GCSE PE (pupils must achieve a B in grade on the theory paper) as well as an exemplary record for participation in practical sessions. A Merit in BTEC First Award in Sport Level 2 is accepted, as long as a Merit is achieved on external assessment. All students must have achieved at least a grade C in a Science subject. Potential A Level PE students should also participate in a sporting activity with an external club at least once a week in order to meet the practical requirements of the course.

Philosophy, Theology and Ethics

What will I study?

Component One: Ethical Issues

This includes topics such as whether we are free to make our own ethical decisions, ethical theories, applied ethics and the study of ethical language.

Component Two: Philosophy

This includes topics such as academic arguments for the existence of God and challenges to God's existence.

Component Three: Theology

This component involves a comprehensive study of either Buddhist, Hindu or Christian thought and how this has changed over time.

How will I be assessed?

This course will be assessed wholly by external examination at the end of Year 2. Each paper will be worth 33% of the overall grade.

What will I need?

You will need an interest in different viewpoints, belief systems and ethical behaviour. You will also be expected to participate in class discussions and engage in debates.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

This is a highly academic subject that can support applications into a range of degrees such as Philosophy, Theology, Religious Studies and Political Science. This subject is particularly relevant to future careers in Law, Medicine and Politics. The subject also complements other subject areas such as English, History and Psychology and Sociology, through the development of essential skills such as essay writing, reasoning and textual analysis. Famous graduates of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies include comedians Ricky Gervais and Katy Brand (Philosophy), activists such as Martin Luther King (Theology) and politicians such as David Cameron, William Hague, Edwina Currie and Ann Widdecombe.

Entry requirements:

Grade 4 in GCSE English Language and a grade B in either RE or History is needed. It is not necessary for students to have studied GCSE Philosophy and Ethics, nor to have any prior knowledge of Philosophy.

Physics

What will I study?

Physics B (Advancing Physics) takes a context-led approach. Learners study Physics in a range of different contexts, conveying the excitement of contemporary Physics. The course provides a distinctive structure within which candidates learn about fundamental physical concepts and about Physics in everyday and technological settings. Practical skills are embedded within the specification and learners are expected to carry out practical work in preparation for a written examination that will specifically test these skills.

Year 1:

Module 1 - Development of Practical Skills in Physics:

Physics is a practical subject and the development of practical skills is fundamental to understanding the nature of Physics. This course gives learners many opportunities to develop the fundamental skills needed to collect and analyse empirical data. Skills in planning, implementing, analysing and evaluating will be assessed in the written papers.

Module 2 - Fundamental Data Analysis:

This module gives learners many opportunities to analyse data collected in practical sessions or provided for them. Students will be exposed and trained in the techniques of analysis and the handling of experimental uncertainties throughout the course.

Module 3 - Physics in Action:

This module is split into two sections:

Communication:

This section is about waves, images, simple optics and electric circuits. The physics of the imaging and signalling section is approached through how information is gathered, processed, transmitted and presented. The sensing section covers the ideas involved in understanding electrical circuits, especially charge, current, potential difference, resistance, conductance and potential dividers.

Mechanical properties of materials:

This section is about materials and how their mechanical properties (and hence their applications) are related to their structures. The physics may be put into context through a study of materials in medicine and engineering. Human and cultural issues arise in considering the impact of materials on technology and society. There are many opportunities for gaining experimental experience and skills in these sections of the course.

Module 4 - Understanding Processes:

This module is split into two sections:

Waves and Quantum Behaviour:

This module provides progression from the application-oriented work in Physics in Action. Understanding Processes is organised around different ways of describing and understanding processes of change: motion in space and time, wave motion, quantum behaviour. It provides a sound foundation in the classical physics of mechanics and waves and takes the story further, touching on the quantum probabilistic view.

Space, Time and Motion:

In addition, this module develops classical mechanics, including vectors. The conservation of momentum, the kinematics of uniformly accelerated motion and the dynamics of motion in two dimensions under a constant force are covered.

Year 2:

Module 5 - Rise and Fall of the Clockwork Universe:

This module is split into two sections:

Models and Rules:

This module builds upon the work covered earlier in the course. The first section uses simple techniques to model radioactive decay, capacitor charging and discharging and simple harmonic motion. In this framework, the formalism of the differential equation is developed along with the concept of field. There are many opportunities for practical work and empirical data can be compared and contrasted to the predictions made by the simple mathematical models. The field model is developed through consideration of gravitational fields. The second section develops ideas about gravitational field strength and potential. Space flight and astronomical data can provide a context and there are further opportunities to consider the development of the modern view of the universe. The third section covers a descriptive and mainly qualitative outline of the main features of the observable universe consistent with the hot big bang model of its origin. The ideas of the universality of the speed of light and the relativistic consequence of time dilation are introduced.

Matter:

This part of the module considers how kinetic theory explains the behaviour of matter in probabilistic and mechanical terms. The beginnings of the basis of thermodynamic thinking appear in the study of the Boltzmann Factor. The first section explains ideal gas behaviour in terms of the kinetic theory. The second section introduces the Boltzmann Factor as the link between energy and temperature. The important idea that differences drive change is introduced here.

Module 6 - Field and Particle Physics:

This module is split into two sections:

Fields:

This section develops the idea of field that has been met in the earlier module. The first section treats the electromagnetic field in a practical context. The electric field, as the interaction between charges at rest, links back to the mathematically analogous model of the gravitational field. There are opportunities for discussing the social impact of the widespread distribution and use of electrical power and its influence on industrial societies. The second section covers interactions between charged particles and ideas about electric field and potential.

Fundamental Particles:

The work here concerns the structure and binding of atoms and nuclei and the nature of fundamental particles. The practical implications of radioactivity are considered, introducing the idea of risk. The first section considers scattering experiments as a source of evidence about the structure of atoms and nucleons. Ideas from earlier in the module are used to consider particle paths in magnetic and electric fields in the context of particle accelerators. Evidence for discrete energy levels leads on to a crude model of the atom as a particle in a box. This section gives more opportunities to discuss the development of models in physics and the international cooperation needed to fund large experiments. The second section sees changes in nuclear binding energy per nucleon as driving different types of decay. This leads to a consideration of nuclear power generation. The biological effects of ionising radiation are also considered, giving more opportunity to consider issues of ethics, decisionmaking and the risks and benefits of technology.

How will I be assessed?

There are 3 Physics papers:

  • Fundamental of Physics - 110 marks - a 2 hour 15 minute written paper, worth 41% of the total A Level
  • Scientific Literacy in Physics - 100 marks - a 2 hour 15 minute written paper, worth 37% of the total A Level
  • Practical Skills in Physics - 60 marks - a 1 hour 30 minute written paper, worth 22% of the total A Level

The Practical Endorsement in Physics - a non-examined assessment which is reported separately

What will I need?

In addition to a solid GCSE knowledge from either Physics or Additional Science, a good understanding of Maths is also necessary.

What will this course lead to/prepare me for?

Physics A Level is aimed at students who really enjoy Physics and those who possibly need it for Science-based university courses. It is also aimed at students who are likely to need to use Physics in their career.

Entry requirements:

To be accepted onto this A Level Physics course you will need at least 1 A grade in GCSE Science or Additional Science or an A grade in GCSE Physics. A grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics is also required.

Psychology

What will I study?

Psychology is the academic study of the human mind and behaviour. Research in Psychology seeks to understand and explain how we think, act and feel. You will be examined in three areas:

Paper 1:

Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology.

Paper 2:

Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology and Research Methods.

Paper 3:

Issues and Debates in Psychology, Relationships, Eating Behaviour and Aggression.

How will I be assessed?

This qualification is 100% examined. Each of the units is worth 33.3% of the final A Level grade.

Modules will be sat in June of Year 13.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

The subject can lead to many career options in settings such as:

  • Hospitals, clinics, and health centres - assessing and treating children and adults with mental health problems;
  • Business and industry - testing potential employees; assessing employee satisfaction; running leadership courses; offering stress management strategies; assisting with equipment and workplace environment design to maximise efficiency and productivity;
  • Education - testing abilities; identifying problems; consulting with parents; designing and implementing programmes to improve achievement;
  • Prisons and similar institutions - devising rehabilitation schedules; profiling criminals and criminal behaviour;
  • The armed forces and civilian forces - assessing and devising training schedules.

These are just a few - there are many more options.

Entry requirements:

It is not necessary for prospective students to have studied GCSE Psychology, nor to have any prior knowledge of Psychology. However, it is necessary that students have achieved at least a grade 4 in GCSE Mathematics and a grade 5 in GCSE English Language.

Spanish

What will I study?

Aspects of Hispanic Society:

  • Modern and traditional values;
  • Cyberspace;
  • Equal rights.

Multiculturalism in Hispanic Society:

  • Immigration;
  • Racism;
  • Integration.

Artistic Culture in the Hispanic World:

  • Modern day idols;
  • Spanish regional identity;
  • Cultural heritage or cultural landscape.

Aspects of Political Life in the Hispanic World:

  • Today's youth; tomorrow's citizens;
  • Monarchies, republics and dictatorships;
  • Popular movements.

Two works of Spanish Literature will be studied.

Individual Research Project:

Students must identify a subject or a key question which is of interest to them, which relates to a country/countries where Spanish is spoken.

How will I be assessed?

At the end of Year 13 you will sit 3 exams:

  • Paper 1 - Listening, reading and writing exam - 2 hours 30 minutes - 40% of A Level
  • Paper 2 - Writing exams on works of Literature - 2 minutes - 30% of A Level
  • Oral exam - 21-23 minutes - 30% of A Level

Listening exams take place in language laboratories and students have control of the material so are able to pause and rewind as they wish. Speaking exams are conducted by the class teacher.

What will I need?

You will need a good quality dictionary, grammar guide and verb table book as well as a keen interest in languages and an ability to learn vocabulary and grammar rules.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

Students can go on to study Spanish at university and to study or work abroad. The study of a foreign language also enhances employment prospects and provides students with an insight into another culture and society.

Entry requirements:

Grade A*-B at GCSE Spanish. Students with a grade B need to have attained at least a B grade in writing and speaking components and have completed the higher paper for the reading and/or listening elements.

Government and Politics

What will I study?

The A Level is comprised of three units. In 'Government and Politics in the UK' you will explore the nature of the British constitution, devolution, the roles of Parliament, Prime Minister, cabinet and judiciary. You will also consider how citizens can be involved in the practical processes of democracy such as through voting, political parties, pressure groups and protest movements. In 'The Government and Politics of the USA' you will complete an in depth study of the political systems and processes of America with an emphasis on comparison to Britain. Finally, in 'Political Ideas' you will learn about a range of ideologies such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, feminism and anarchism.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is through written exam. Each paper is worth 33% of the total grade.

What will I need?

You will need the confidence to engage in debates and a passion for learning how countries are, and should, be governed.

What will this course lead to/Prepare me for?

Government and Politics is a highly respected A Level which can lead to a wide variety of academic degrees such as Politics, Law and History. It is particularly suited to those who wish to pursue careers in the legal field, journalism, or those wishing to work in local government. Graduates of Politics include a range of politicians such as David Cameron, Tony Benn and Jeremy Hunt, as well as people outside of the field of politics such as Harry Enfield, Rupert Murdoch and Nick Robinson (BBC political editor).

Entry Requirements

At least a Grade 4 in either RE or History and at least a C in English.

English Literature

What will I study?

Students will require a grade 6 in GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature to access this A Level course.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1 (externally marked assessment):

Students will be required to answer three examined, essay style questions. All questions will be linked to the theme of 'Love Through the Ages' which links all the texts studied. The first question will focus on an extract from the Shakespeare play. The second question will ask students to respond analytically to an unseen poetry text, making comments on how the writer creates meaning in the text. The third question will require students to write comparatively about a text from the anthology of poetry and a prose text.

Component 2 (externally marked assessment):

Students will be required to answer three examined, essay style questions. The first question will ask students to respond critically to one set text. The second question requires students to write analytically about an unseen prose extract. The third question will ask students to make comparative, coherent links between two prose texts, analysing a common theme or idea across both texts.

Component 3 (non-examined assessment):

Students will be required to undertake a comparative critical study of two texts. This will be independently prepared and written during the course. Students will have the freedom to choose their question, but this must be pre-approved by the tutor.

What will I need?

Students will have access to all text resources and materials. A pre-reading list will be available for students to prepare themselves for the course ahead. A list of study aids will also be provided.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

Students focusing on qualifications featuring English and English Literature may choose to follow a number of career paths. Those with degrees in English and/or English Literature find opportunities with many different employers, notably publishing, advertising, marketing, public relations, teaching, the media and journalism. The retail, leisure and tourism industries, as well as local/national government agencies and the legal profession, typically recruit graduates who have degrees in this subject area.

Entry requirements:

Students will require a grade 6 in GCSE English Literature to access this A Level course.

Philosophy, Theology and Ethics

What will I study?

Component One: Ethical Issues

This includes topics such as whether we are free to make our own ethical decisions, ethical theories, applied ethics and the study of ethical language.

Component Two: Philosophy

This includes topics such as academic arguments for the existence of God and challenges to God's existence.

Component Three: Theology

This component involves a comprehensive study of either Buddhist, Hindu or Christian thought and how this has changed over time.

How will I be assessed?

This course will be assessed wholly by external examination at the end of Year 2. Each paper will be worth 33% of the overall grade.

What will I need?

You will need an interest in different viewpoints, belief systems and ethical behaviour. You will also be expected to participate in class discussions and engage in debates.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

This is a highly academic subject that can support applications into a range of degrees such as Philosophy, Theology, Religious Studies and Political Science. This subject is particularly relevant to future careers in Law, Medicine and Politics. The subject also complements other subject areas such as English, History and Psychology and Sociology, through the development of essential skills such as essay writing, reasoning and textual analysis. Famous graduates of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies include comedians Ricky Gervais and Katy Brand (Philosophy), activists such as Martin Luther King (Theology) and politicians such as David Cameron, William Hague, Edwina Currie and Ann Widdecombe.

Entry requirements:

Grade 4 in GCSE English Language and a grade B in either RE or History is needed. It is not necessary for students to have studied GCSE Philosophy and Ethics, nor to have any prior knowledge of Philosophy.

Sociology

What will I study?

Sociology is the study of society and you will develop a comprehensive understanding of our social structure and how it operates. You will be examined in three areas:

Paper 1:

  • Education, Methods in Context, and Theory and Methods.

Paper 2:

  • Culture and Identity and the Media.

Paper 3:

  • Crime and Deviance and Theory and Methods.

How will I be assessed?

This qualification is 100% examined. Each of the units is worth 33.3% of the final A Level grade. Modules will be sat in June of Year 13.

What can this subject lead to/prepare me for?

You will gain a better understanding of your environment and the world around you. It can lead to further study at university and is of great value for those people entering into varied careers such as:

  • The Law
  • Medicine (from Consultant to nurse)
  • Teaching
  • Armed Forces or the Police Service
  • Social Work
  • Public Services
  • Personnel Management
  • Politics

Entry requirements:

It is not necessary for prospective students to have studied GCSE Sociology, nor to have any prior knowledge of Sociology, but an interest in people, society and the world is essential. Sociology is an academic course which requires a sound level of literacy in order to cope with the texts that need to be studied and essay-writing, thus students must have achieved at least grade 5 in GCSE English Language and English Literature.