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Christ's College Finchley


What can I study?

The curriculum available in our Sixth Form is one that is flexible and allows for the study of both a combination and varying number of subjects.

The number of subjects we expect a student to study will depend on the student’s ability, their choices, and higher education and career intentions.

Students following the A level course will take either 3 or 4 subjects, dependant on average point score from GCSE’s.

Advice and guidance

Advice and guidance is offered to all Christ’s College Finchley Year 11 students concerning which courses and subjects will give them the best opportunities to pursue their interests, should they already know what they want to do at university or as a career.

The Head of Sixth form gives a talk to Year 11 students in the Autumn term explaining the options available to them post GCSE and the entry requirements for Christ’s College Finchley sixth form.

All Year 11 students are interviewed in the Spring term by a member of the Senior Leadership Team, to ensure that they are making the correct decisions regarding their future. Additional interviews are conducted by the Curriculum Support department to ensure all students are aware of the options that are open to them.

Individual interviews are offered to all external applicants and they are offered advice regarding subject and course choice at that time. They can also seek further advice at the Induction Day in June.

Art, Craft and Design (A Level)

You should have a confident knowledge and understanding of the elements of Art – colour, tone, form and their use as well as an understanding of the place of Art, Craft and Design in the world, its history and its purpose.

It is important to have a good foundation in drawing and painting skills for Art and in
photographic skills (both technical & aesthetic) for Photography, also a very good grade at GCSE. Above all, you should have an interest in creating and understanding art and the determination and vision to develop that interest. However A-level Art, Craft and Design is a very demanding option and you must be prepared to work very hard at developing your abilities.

Who is it for?

Students who are looking to take up careers for which an art background is relevant.
These might include advertising, architecture, museums, theatre or gallery work etc.
Students who have an interest in and aptitude for the subject, but who do not intend to
take the subject beyond the A-level.

Students who wish to undertake further studies in Art, Craft and Design, usually continue
these studies at Art College or University.

What will I study?

The A-Level is a 2 year course in Art, Craft and Design exploring a range of ideas, skills
and materials enabling students to develop their own visual explorations and conclusions.

The A-Level engages students in greater depth through continuous personal involvement
to develop their own ability to appreciate the visual world and respond in a personal and
creative way.

Learning in school takes place both under supervision during timetabled lessons and
independent study. Visits to galleries, museums and sites of visual interest are organised
and encouraged for extra-curricular study.

How will I be assessed?

Through reaching assessment objectives in development of ideas, experimentation,
recording of information and presentation in internally set projects in the first year. In thesecond year of the A-Level this will be through Component 1: Personal investigation and Component 2: Externally set assignment (15hours). The A-level qualification will be graded on a six point scale: A*, A, B, C, D and E.

Biology (A Level)

Biology is the study of living things, how they function and inter-relate. It is a very strong academic subject, and A level Biology forms the foundations for arguably the most diverse areas of study in modern science. A full list of these is not possible here, but would include:

Who is it for?

The medical sciences such as Medicine, Dentistry, and Veterinary Surgery, Physiotherapy;
Those biological sciences which can be applied in industry (particularly food and drug
development), such as Microbiology, Biotechnology, Pharmacy;
Those related to Ecology and Earth Sciences; Biological studies – botany, zoology.

Where does it lead?

We recommend that you search under ‘Biological Sciences’ to discover the huge number
of courses available at degree level, from Genetics to Biological Engineering to Sports

Biology is a rigorous subject and consequently successful candidates find that it is a very
attractive A level to offer for university entrance. After degree, it can lead to an academic
career, (PhD), industry, vocational careers (medicine), or non-science related professions,
seeking people who have shown that they can qualify in a rigorous subject e.g. the City.

What will I study?

The course at CCF follows the new AQA Biology Specification (7401/7402), in which there
are 8 units:
Year 1
In this first year of the course, students will study:

  • Biological molecules
  • Cells Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  • Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

Year 2,

  • Energy transfers in and between organisms (A-level only)
  • Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments (A-level only)
  • Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems (A-level only)
  • The control of gene expression (A-level only)

NB: pupils have a set of 12 required practicals over the 2 years and that has to be
endorsed by their teacher and WILL be examined in the written examinations


How will I be assessed?

3 papers of 2 hours each
Paper 1 (35% of A level): Covers units 1-4
Paper 2 (35% of A level): Covers units 5-8
Paper 3: (30% of A level): Covers units 1-8

Business (A Level)

Who is it for?

You will be using real businesses to enhance your knowledge of companies and why they undertake the actions they do. Throughout the course, you will learn the importance of knowing your customers, appreciating your workforce and developing effective strategies to launch new products. An interest in business topics and issues that are relevant in today’s society, such as digital technology, business ethics and globalisation and an inquisitive mind are two important qualities you must bring.

Where does it lead?

By successfully completing this course you could move on to study for a degree. You could also go on to a Modern Apprenticeship in related subjects such as Administration or Management or on to relevant employment. Whichever path you choose after completing the course, you will have developed key skills which will help both in further education and employment.

What will I study?

You will develop a general knowledge of the key functional areas of Businesses such as finance, human resources, marketing and external influences. All units will require working with a business and provide significant opportunities for students to investigate the real world.

There are ten mandatory units which are detailed below:

  • What is business?
  • Managers, leadership and decision making
  • Decision making to improve marketing performance
  • Decision making to improve operational performance
  •  Decision making to improve financial performance
  • Decision making to improve human resource performance
  • Analysing the strategic position of a business 
  •  Choosing strategic direction 
  • Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies 
  • Managing strategic change 

How will I be assessed?

A-level Business examinations include questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to draw together their knowledge, skills and understanding from across the full course of study:

Paper 1: 33.3% of the qualification - 2 hours

Paper 2: 33.3% of the qualification - 2 hours

Paper 3: 33.3% of the qualification - 2 hours

Chemistry (A Level)

Who is it for?

Chemistry is a strong academic subject and is accepted by all universities. It is a requirement for studying Chemistry, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and any subject related to medical science.

Where does it lead?

It is a very useful subject for those wishing to take degrees in a wide range of subject areas such as law, architecture, geographical subjects, engineering and biochemistry. The course is compulsory for any person wanting to study medicine or pharmacy at university. It combines well with many subject areas in addition to its traditional links with the other science disciplines.

What will I study?

We use the AQA exam board.

In the first year of the course students study three units

  • Physical Chemistry 1
  • Inorganic Chemistry 1
  • Organic Chemistry 1

In the second year students study the following units:

  • Physical Chemistry 2
  • Inorganic Chemistry 2
  • Organic Chemistry 2

NB: pupils have a set of 12 required practicals over the 2 years and that has to be endorsed by their teacher and WILL be examined in the written examinations

How will I be assessed?

3 papers of 2 hours each

Paper 1 (35% of A level): Physical and Inorganic Chemistry + relevant required practicals

Paper 2 (35% of A level): Physical and Organic Chemistry + relevant required practicals       

Paper 3: (30% of A level): contains questions covering the entire A Level

Computer Science (A Level)

Who is it for?

Computer science uses the year in science prep create and build usable applications, such as video games, apps and computer problems. Computer science will focus more on the theoretical and mathematical aspects of computing. Topics is include software development and design,  algorithm analysis, computational theory, object oriented and systems programming, data structures and computer architecture.
If you enjoy maths and particularly like solving logical problems, then computer science may offer you some interesting opportunities.

Where does it lead?

When combined with a range of other subjects, studying Computer Science at A level can lead to employment or higher education courses. There are a range of career choices available to students: Computer programmer, Hardware engineer, Software developer, Web developer, Security analyst, Database administrator as well as other Computer science related careers.

What will I study?

Component 01 COMPUTING PRINCIPLES: This component will be a traditionally marked and structured question paper with a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response mark scheme-type questions. It will cover the characteristics of contemporary systems architecture and other areas including the following:
â–¸The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
â–¸Software and software development
â–¸Exchanging data
â–¸Data types, data structures and algorithms
â–¸Legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues

Component 02 ALGORITHMS AND PROBLEM SOLVING: This component will be a traditionally marked and structured question paper and will include a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response mark-scheme-type questions. There’ll be a short scenario/task contained in the paper, which could be an algorithm or a text page-based task, which will involve problem solving. Other areas covered include the following:
â–¸Elements of computational thinking
â–¸Problem solving and programming

Component 03 PROGRAMMING TASK: The learner will choose a computing problem to work through according to the guidance in the specification.
• Analysis of the problem
• Design of the solution
• Developing the solution
• Evaluation

How will I be assessed?

â–¸Component 01 Computing principles: Externally marked question paper 40% :: 140 marks

â–¸Component 02 Algorithms and problem solving: Externally marked question paper 40% ::140 marks 

â–¸Component 03 Programming Project: Non-exam assessment externally assessed  20% :: 70 marks

Design and Technology (A Level)

Who is it for?

Design and Technology builds on GCSE Design and Technology by developing skills, knowledge and understanding to a great depth and extending these skills, knowledge and understanding to new areas of application. Design and Technology is treated as an integrated activity, requiring candidates to design and make products, which can be tested and evaluated.

Where does it lead?

Design and Technology, when combined with other related A level subjects can lead to a wide range of employment opportunities or higher education courses. Popular career choices for students include architecture, product design, and a wide range of engineering disciplines.

What will I study?

The units are designed to offer student’s opportunities to study, propose and realise prototype solutions closely linked to the real world of product manufacture in a range of material areas. Recognising the routes that are pursued at GCSE this specification provides candidates with opportunities to continue their studies either exclusively or as a combination of focus material areas.

How will I be assessed?

We are currently using OCR for our examination boards throughout DT for A Level.

OCR A Level in Design and Technology: H406 Product Design;

Written examination paper based around DT theory (50%)

Component 01: Principles of... 26.7%

Component 02: Problem solving in... 23.3%

Major Project focusing on a design and make task (50%)

Component 03/04: Iterative design project = 50%

Economics (A Level)

Who is it for?

Economics is a subject for people who have a genuine interest in contemporary issues and who wish to understand the various forces that decide living standards. It is a social science that requires students to combine a wide range of skills to analyse and interpret real economic events. 

Students in this Pearson- Edexcel specification A course are expected to use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of economics and develop an ability to think as an economist. They are also expected to examine economic behaviour from a range of perspectives and develop analytical and quantitative skills to make judgements about economic policies and issues. 

Where does it lead?

It is not only a popular subject at university in itself, but is also a good preparation for courses and careers in business, finance, industry, management, public administration, law, accountancy, environmental studies and other related disciplines.

It requires no previous knowledge and can be combined with any other choice of A levels, although it should be recognised that successful students will need to have high literacy and numeracy skills together with the ability to express logical arguments which lead to reasoned conclusions.

What will I study?

In the classroom, students are taught the principles, theories and concepts which build a framework of understanding to allow an informed analysis and evaluation of the economic events and issues which affect all our lives.

Students are also expected to work on their own using a wide range of sources of information to develop their knowledge and understanding. Economics is a technique of thinking that you will be expected to apply to both familiar and unfamiliar contexts.

How will I be assessed?

There are four themes in this two year Advanced level course. The first two themes are externally tested in the first year (Y12) to comprise an Advanced Subsidiary GCE in economics 

Theme 1: Introduction to markets and market failure – 1 hour 30 minutes 

Theme 2: The UK Economy –performance and policies- 1 hour 30 minutes 

In the second -year (Y13) the following two themes are studied: 

Theme 3: Business behaviour and the labour market 

Theme 4: A global perspective 

The Advanced level qualification is externally tested in the second year with three two hour exams.

Paper 1: Markets and business behaviour 35% of the qualification - 2 hours

Paper 2: The national and global economy 35% of the qualification - 2 hours

Paper 3: Microeconomics and macroeconomics 30% of the qualification – 2 hours

These four themes over the two years are examined using a combination of data response, structured essay and multiple choice questions

English Literature (A Level)

Who is it for?

This course suits a wide range of A level subject combinations and would be a natural choice if you enjoyed English at GCSE and like to analyse texts in detail and discuss and share ideas with others.

Where does it lead?

It can lead to a degree in English Literature or be a useful accompaniment to other Arts, Social Science or Science subjects. It is valued by universities for all subjects but is especially useful for Law, Philosophy and Psychology. It provokes critical and analytical thinking skills and enhance communications skills. Most importantly, it promotes enjoyment in and understanding of a wide range of literary texts as well as enhancing your ability to express your ideas in speech and writing cogently.

What will I study?

You will read a very wide range of texts; drama, prose and poetry from five centuries of English Literature. 

  • Drama and Prose Pre-1900:

Shakespeare: The Tempest/ Hamlet

The Canterbury Tales' by Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1345-1400)

The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster

  1. 2. Gothic Literature Comparative and contextual study:



  1. Coursework: 

The Room 

History Boys

The Death of Naturalist (Seamus Heaney)

Or ‘The Bloody Chambers’

Referencing secondary texts:

‘The Castle of Otranto’ by Horace Walpole. ... 

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

History of the Caliph Vathek by William Beckford. ... 

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe. ... 

The Monk by Matthew Lewis. ... 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. ... 

Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: Shakespeare and Drama and Poetry Pre-1900 – One chosen drama from a prescribed list. Examination worth 40%. Paper length 2 hours 30 minutes. [60 marks].

Component 2: Close reading in chosen topic area and comparative and contextual study from chosen topic area. Examination worth 40%. Paper length 2 hours 30 minutes. [60 marks].

Component 3: Close reading Or re-creative writing piece with commentary and comparative essay (Literature post-1900). Non Examined Assessment. [40 marks].

Further Mathematics (A Level)

Who is it for?

This course is for students who have achieved grade 8 or above or a very good grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics. It must be studied in conjunction with A level Mathematics in Year 12.  

Where does it lead?

It is particularly appropriate for those students who expect mathematics to feature significantly in their higher education.

What will I study and how will I be assessed?

The course offered is the EDEXCEL Linear A-level. 

In Year 12 you will study and be assessed on: 

Pure Mathematics1 (Paper (1) 100 marks – 2 hours), Pure Mathematics 2 (Paper (2) 100 marks – 2 hours) and Statistics and Mechanics (Paper (3) 100 marks – 2 hours). 

This will complete your A-Level Mathematics in year 12.

In Year 13 you will study and be assessed on:

  • Level Further Maths:

Core Pure Mathematics(1) (Paper (1) 75 marks – 1.5 hours), Core Pure Mathematics (2)  ((Paper (2) 75 marks – 1.5 hours), Further Statistics (Paper (3) 75 marks – 1.5 hours), Further Mechanics (Paper (4) 75 marks – 1.5 hours)

This will complete your A-Level Further Mathematics in year 13.

Government and Politics (A Level)

Who is it for?

A level Politics is a diverse and challenging subject. No prior knowledge is required but a student will need to have a lively and enquiring mind, an interest in current affairs and a desire to be challenged by new ideas and an ability to write coherently. Students must want to know how their country’s political system works, how and whether it needs to be changed and how they might want to participate in it. The ideas that form part of political ideologies must also be of interest. The course covers areas of Law, Economics, History, and Philosophy. The only formal requirement is that a grade 6 or above in a written subject be achieved at GCSE. 

Where does it lead?

The study of Politics will enhance students’ written communication, their ability to question material before them, their debating and organising skills and their ability to listen to others and tolerate rival opinions. These are skills employers and universities alike seek in their applicants. In most years over 70% of Politics students at CCF go on to a Politics related degree at university. Careers in law, the media, lobbying, business, journalism and management are all likely destinations after studying politics. 

What will I study?

Politics addresses some of the fundamental issues of the day. As an ever-changing area of study what is examined changes frequently. Up to date topics and political issues are always relevant, but students will study the operation of the British Political System, US politics as a comparative system and basic political ideology. There is now a need to study 3 elements of politics to prepare students for university should they wish to go – i) How the UK system operates, ii) US Politics and iii) Political ideology. A study tour to New York or Washington DC is a possibility as part of the US unit.

How will I be assessed?

Politics is linear A’ level and a 2 year course examined at the end of Y13 (an AS exam at the end of Y12 for those not intending to continue with the subject in Y13 is possible).

UNIT 1 – UK Politics: a 2 hour exam worth 33% of the qualification

Parliament, Prime Minister, the Constitution, democracy, political parties, electoral systems, voting behaviour and the media will all be studied. 

UNIT 2 – US & Comparative Government:  a 2 hour exam worth 33% of the qualification

The US political system will be studied and compared to the UK system. 

The US Constitution, federalism, Congress, the Presidency, Supreme Court. Elections and civil rights will all be studied in depth and detail. 

UNIT 3 – Political Ideology:  a 2 hour exam worth 33% of the qualification. 

The ideas behind socialism, conservatism and liberalism have to be studied. One other ideology has to be studied too – Either nationalism, feminism or environmentalism will be also looked at in detail. 

History (A Level)

Who is it for?

History will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a fascinating and engaging subject that will enable you to understand the world you live in. History should be studied by those interested in understanding the present and the past, and by those wanting to develop skills for the future.

Where does it lead?

History is a unique academic subject that can lead to careers in areas such as Law, Media, Finance and the social sciences. It is a well-respected qualification as it develops crucial skills of analysis, communication and critical thinking, all prized by employers. The study of History is enhanced when combined with subjects such as English, Politics, Art, Business and the Sciences.

What will I study?

Students will study two Historical periods and develop two key skills, the use of evidence and the ability to analyse Historical events.

Students will then study a Historical period in detail identifying change and continuity over an extended period of time.

In their second year students will be expected to undertake an independent historical investigation. 

Unit 1: British Depth Study: Britain 1930-1997 (Winston Churchill Investigation)

Unit 2: Modern European History Germany (1933-1963)

Unit 3: Popular Culture and the Witch-craze of the 16th and 17th centuries

Unit 4: Historical Investigation, one 4000 word coursework essay analysing a Historical issue of student’s choice.

4000 word essay (coursework) – an independently researched essay from a choice of teacher set historical enquiries from across different historical periods of study.

Students will be taught by a number of teachers using a variety of different methods including group work, research tasks, lectures and debate. For each topic students will be provided with at least one textbook, a folder of detailed notes, practise papers, model answers and access to the History Department’s A-level website which holds all lessons taught, pod-casts and videos.

How will I be assessed?

There will be internal assessments throughout Year 12, each of which will test students’ subject knowledge and skills. There will be three public examinations at the end of Year 13, which will assess students’ knowledge, skills and understanding of change over time. Students will also be assessed upon their piece of coursework. As well as their final examinations students will be formatively assessed at least six times by their teachers in Years 13.

Mathematics (A Level)

Who is it for?

This course is for students who have achieved a high grade 6 or better in GCSE Mathematics.  It is a subject, which merits study for its own intellectual demands and as such can be taken with any other subjects. It is a particularly appropriate subject to take in conjunction with Sciences, Geography and Economics.

Where does it lead?

It leads to higher education courses in single subjects such as Mathematics, Sciences and to combined courses such as Maths and Finance, Maths and Business Studies or Maths and Computing. Maths students also commonly study Engineering based courses. It is an A Level which has been shown to increase significantly a person’s earning power.

What will I study and how will I be assessed?

The course offered is the EDEXCEL Linear A-level.

In Year 12 and 13 you will study and be assessed on:

Pure Mathematics1 (Paper (1) 100 marks – 2 hours), Pure Mathematics 2 (Paper (2) 100 marks – 2 hours), Statistics and Mechanics (Paper (3) 100 marks – 2 hours).

This will complete your A-Level Mathematics in year 13

In lessons your teacher will explain theory and give examples of solutions to problems.  Homework will consist largely of similar problems of increasing difficulty. You will be encouraged to use graphic calculators, graph plotting programmes and related websites. 

Departmental assessments are provided three times during the year (October, January and March), plus homework tasks will be provided as part of ongoing assessment. 

Extra material can be supplied to be completed during study periods. A letter will be sent every term to any students who are causing concern. Extra support sessions will be provided and students are encouraged to attend. 

Final assessments

A level Mathematics qualification is done through three papers at the end of Year 13 with defined content and calculator usage allowed in all three papers.

Music (A Level)

Who is it for?

Anyone who has a keen interest in creating and listening to different styles of music, and who wishes to broaden their experience of both live and recorded music. Although you must study some classical music, your performing and composing can be in any style.

Where does it lead?

This A Level in Music can lead to further study in Music or Performing Arts in Higher Education at degree or HND level. Music can be used as part of your course to broaden your studies and may lead on to a career in the music industry.

What will I study?

The course will extend the three basic areas of Performing, Composing and Listening and Analysis already encountered at GCSE to a higher level. Although preparation for your solo performances will mostly be undertaken with your instrumental teacher we will involve you in appropriate ensemble performances and time will be allocated within the course for rehearsal. Your individual composition work will be supported by study of basic harmony and of stylistic procedures.  You will develop your listening skills and learn about music from two different areas of study. These will cover a wide range of musical styles and genres.

What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

It is useful to have taken Music at GCSE level, but this is not essential, as long as you can already play an instrument to at least Grade 5 standard or above and are able to read music. It is desirable to have a sound knowledge of basic music theory.

How will I be assessed?

A Level 

Unit 4: Extended Performance. You will extend your performance skills as a soloist and/or as part of an ensemble. Any instrument(s) and/or voice are acceptable as part of a 12-15 minute assessed performance of a balanced programme of music.

Unit 5: Composition and Technical Study. You will develop further your compositional skills leading to a final three-minute piece to a chosen brief AND the completion of a technical study.

Unit 6: Further Musical Understanding You will listen to music that is familiar and unfamiliar and develop an understanding of how it works. Set works from the anthology – different selections to those in Unit 3 – provide the focus.


The course is undertaken with Barnet Education Arts Trust and involves some lessons after school at Woodhouse College on Tuesdays and Wednesdays up to 6.30pm.

Contact Kelvin Thomson: kthomson@woodhouse.ac.uk  for further information.

Music Technology (A Level)

Who is it for?

Anyone who has a keen interest in music of all styles and wishes to broaden their experience of live, recorded and sequenced music. Students should be interested in technology, some computing and specifically in their application to music. Students also need to be highly self-motivated as many of the practical assignments must be undertaken at least partially in their own time.

Where does it lead?

This qualification can lead to further study in Music Technology and many related subjects (eg audio engineering, recording studio and media technician work) in Higher Education at degree or HND level.  Music Technology also provides students with essential problem solving skills which are invaluable in many other areas. Music Technology can therefore be a stepping stone into the music, radio, internet, film or any other industry which involves sound production. 

What will I study?

You will acquire practical skills relating to sequencing and recording, as well as arranging and composing using music technology.  You will learn to recognise the musical, technical and stylistic features of modern recorded music. In addition, for A2 you will learn to compose and recreate sounds using music technology and will develop your ideas into more complex and professionally produced productions. You will also produce a detailed studio recording of a band.

What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

Some keyboard/piano skills are essential. These are tested during your audition 

for the course. It is important to have taken GCSE Music and to be able to play an instrument. You should have a basic knowledge of music theory and must be able to read music. 

How will I be assessed?

A Level 

Unit 2a: Practical work: Music Technology Portfolio 2. You will present for assessment a full multi-track recording of popular music, a sequenced backing track for a song and a detailed composition using all of the techniques learned in the AS and A2 years.

Unit 2b: A2 Exam. You will sit two examinations, one involving technical analysis and commentaries on a variety of aspects of audio production and engineering. The other is a practical test involving the production of a balanced mix of a set piece of music.



The course is undertaken with Barnet Education Arts Trust and involves some lessons after school at Woodhouse College on Wednesdays and Thursdays up to 6pm.

Contact Kelvin Thomson: kthomson@woodhouse.ac.uk  for further information.

Philosophy & Ethics (Religious Studies) (A Level)

Philosophy comes from the Greek terms meaning ‘love of wisdom’ and demonstrates how the course will begin from the earliest foundations of Western Philosophy, that of the Ancient Greek culture, to the contemporary era.

This is a highly challenging A-Level which pushes the learner to think at ever higher abilities; to question the perceived certainties of our world and society.

Due to the nature of study, a basic understanding of Mathematics and Science is necessary as throughout the units, references to logic, physics and quantum physics will be made.

Who is it for?

 This A-Level is an ideal course to study for those interested in pursuing high level thinking and developing their analytical skills. It requires individuals who are prepared to ‘think outside the box’; to challenge views and have their own views challenged.

It is an arts & humanities A-Level, but due to the examination of rationalism and empiricism, it is highly useful for those pursuing careers related to the sciences, for example Medicine, biological research or physics.

Where does it lead?

The abilities which will be nurtured throughout the term of study are excellent preparation for university study and beyond. The analytical nature of the units develop high level thinking which is vital for careers in management, academic research or law, whilst the content and rigorous academic nature of the A-level is good preparation for any BMAT examinations for university.

What will I study?

Component 01: Philosophy of Religion

Component 02: Religion and ethics

Component 03: Developments in religious thought

Ancient philosophical influences

The nature of the soul, mind and body

Arguments about the existence or non-existence of God

The nature and impact of religious experience

the challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil

Ideas about the nature of God

Issues in religious language.

Normative ethical theories The application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance    Ethical language and thought Debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience Sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.

Religious beliefs, values and teachings; their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world

Sources of religious wisdom and authority

Practices which shape and express religious identity, and how these vary within a tradition

Significant social and historical developments in theology and religious thought

Key themes related to the relationship between religion and society.

How will I be assessed?

There will be three assessments at the end of the A-Level (one for each component) with each exam lasting 2 hours and accounting for a third of the total grade.

Psychology (A Level)

Who is it for?

Psychology is the scientific study of human experiences and the underlying processes that shape our behaviour and interactions. Psychologists try to explain, predict and control behaviour in order to try and understand and solve both individual and social problems.

This course is suitable for students who are interested in people and wish to develop their understanding of human nature. The course covers a breadth of knowledge and develops critical thinking skills. It forms a useful link between Science and the Arts.

Where does it lead?

Psychology can lead to a variety of careers, including research, psychotherapy, personnel management, clinical psychologist, teaching, or sports and occupational psychologist.

What will I study?

Attachment: This unit focuses on explanations of why children develop attachments to their parents.

Memory: We discover what is meant by the term memory; the different types of memory and the factors that can affect the accuracy of memory. 

Social psychology: This unit focuses on the affect being in a group has on our behaviour.

 Approaches in psychology: Here we will discover the main ‘themes’ or ideas psychologist have about the mechanisms that govern human behaviour.

Psychopathology: This unit focuses on the different psychological explanations for abnormal and normal behaviour and how the different disciplines treat this behaviour.

Approaches in Psychology: In this unit we discuss the main ‘themes’ or ideas psychologists have about the mechanisms that govern human behaviour; as well as delving into the origins of Psychology: Wundt, introspection and the emergence of Psychology as a science.

Biopsychology: This unit explores the division of the human nervous system, the structure and function of neurons and different parts of the brain. In addition, the unit focuses on ways of investigating the brain, localisation of brain function and biological rhythms of human behaviour.

Research methods: We practice how psychologists collect data, and the effects it has on the reliability and validity of the data collected.

Issues and debates:  We will investigate key issues and debates that commonly occur in psychological research.

Relationships: Here we investigate the factors associated with sexual attraction and how relationships are maintained or breakdown.

Schizophrenia: We will discover how schizophrenia is classified and diagnosed, plus research the biological and psychological explanations of the disorder.

Aggression: This unit focuses on the biological, social and evolutionary explanations for aggressive behaviour.

Physics (A Level)

Who is it for?

Physicists go anywhere, do anything.  Financial institutions are increasingly employing physicists because of their analytical and problem solving skills.

Where does it lead?

Most A level physicists go on to study Engineering, Computer Science, or Medicine but as our lists in the Department show some have become lawyers, architects, politics students, economists, even physicists.

Whilst most students will complete the two year A Level course, some students may be entered for the AS Exam. These students will be required to pass this qualification at a minimum of grade E to move forward to the second year of the linear A Level course.

What will I study?

Year 1:

Core Physics 1

  • Mechanics • Electric Circuits

Core Physics 2

  • Materials • Waves and the Particle Nature of Light

Year 2:

Advanced Physics 1

  • Mechanics • Electric Circuits • Further Mechanics • Electric and Magnetic Fields • Nuclear and Particle Physics

Advanced Physics 2

  • Materials • Waves and the Particle Nature of Light • Thermodynamics • Space • Nuclear Radiation • Gravitational Fields • Oscillations

Students will learn about up-quarks and down-quarks, black holes and supernovae, but also everyday things like why aeroplanes fly and why digital electronics is proving so much more useful than analogue techniques.

The syllabus will be covered in detail in the lessons and early in the course students will get copies of past exam papers to answer in study periods and at home. They will also be expected to read around and ahead to get full benefit from studying this subject – it can be very interesting at this level. There will be regular experiments both to aid the understanding of the theory and also because experimental skill is an important part of this subject. Students will be expected to keep a laboratory notebook. The teaching of each group will be divided between two staff.

How will I be assessed?

A level

Three theory exams including questions on required practicals.

Physical Education (A Level)

Who is it for?

A Level Physical Education is a multi-disciplinary course that enables you to develop skills and knowledge in a wide variety of sports and subject areas.

It includes: Building up your planning and practical skills to improve your performance in

a range of activities; exploring how sociology and psychology relate to sport; studying human biology and exercise physiology to understand the link between practical performance and the theory of human movement.

Students should have practical sporting ability; be able to observe and analyse sports performance; enjoy and be good at problem solving and planning your own learning; be able to write accurately and effectively, using technical language; be able to produce and interpret visual material, including graphs and diagrams and be reasonably confident and fluent in spoken communication.

The following subjects combine well with Physical Education: Psychology, Biology and Business Studies. If you wish to train as a physiotherapist, you should study A Level Biology as well as PE.

Where does it lead?

Advanced Level Physical Education is becoming an essential qualification for over 1500

Higher Education degree courses including: Sports Science, Sport Studies, Sport Coaching Science, Sports Management, Physical Education and Sports Therapy. A level Physical Education is a suitable qualification for careers in teaching or coaching, the leisure industry, recreational management, and the health and fitness industry. You could also work in professional sport or the armed forces.

What will I study?


Anatomy and Physiology


Exercise Physiology

Sports Psychology

Skill Acquisition

Contemporary issues 

Sport in Society

Technology in Sport


The syllabus offers a range of Sports that can be assessed, for the full list please access the specification at www.aqa.or.uk

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1: Factors affecting participation in physical activity and sport

Written paper, 2 hours; 105 marks – 35% of A Level

Section A: Applied anatomy and physiology, Section B: Skill Acquisition, Section C: Sport and Society

Paper 2: Factors affecting optimal performance in physical activity and sport 

Written paper, 2 hours; 105 marks – 35% of A level

Section A: Exercise physiology and Biomechanics, Section B: Sports Psychology, Section C: Sport and Society and technology in sport

NEA: Practical performance in physical activity and sport

Internal assessment, externally moderated, 90 marks – 30% of A level

Perform, analyse, evaluate and correct own performance in a competitive situation

Sociology (A Level)

Who is it for?

Sociology is the study of society in which we live. It examines how we are influenced and shaped through being members of groups and organisations. It concentrates on the way we make society what it is and the way society makes us what we are. It explores how the past and present have an effect on the way society and human interaction has evolved, and the difference between cultures across the globe.

This course is suitable for students who are interested in how society has been shaped by human interaction and behaviour, and how it will continue to do so in the future. The course will include a variety of topics, as well as develop critical thinking and research skills. It forms a useful link with the Humanities, particularly Geography and History.

Where does it lead?

Students who take Sociology end up in a variety of careers, particularly because of the transferable and desirable nature of the skills that are developed. This can include research, marketing, social services, education, criminal justice, welfare services, government, counselling, charities and the voluntary sector.

What will I study?

Year 1

You will study sociological theories, perspectives and methods, as well as the design of research used to obtain the data, including strengths and limitations. The core themes are socialisation, culture and identity, social differentiation, and the organisation of power in society. This will be focused on the topics of Education, and Families and Households to examine the way in which these have developed over time and the way in which they have shaped the differences in society. It will include conducting your own research projects

Year 2

You will focus on a selection of new areas such as Crime and Deviance, Beliefs in Society, and how they affect society and human interaction. The central focus of study in this specification will be on UK society today, with consideration given to comparative dimensions where relevant, including the siting of UK society within its globalised context. You will continue to study Education and Families and Households.

How will I be assessed?

A level - AQA

Paper 1 – Education with Theory and Methods: Education: - short answer and extended writing 50 marks. Methods in Context: extended writing 20 marks. Theory and Methods: extended writing, 10 marks. 2 hour written exam – 33.3% of total marks.

Paper 2 – Topics in Sociology: Beliefs in Society – extended writing 40 marks. Families and Households  - extended writing 40 marks. 2 hour written exam – 33.3% of total marks.

Paper 3 - Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods: Crime and Deviance - short answer and extended writing 50 marks. Theory and Methods: extended writing 30 marks. 2 hour written exam – 33.3% of total marks.