Academic Subjects

The International A-level subjects chosen by students will have a huge impact on their future studies. We recommend students choose subjects that they are both very familiar with and enjoy studying as well as being directly related to what they wish to study at university. As a general rule, we highly recommend discussing subject choice with our admissions team.

The majority of our students usually take three A level subjects. Those with very strong academic backgrounds may be allowed to take a fourth A level subject to our recommendation. Students should be aware that during the International A-Level Programme, they will be expected to develop their knowledge and understanding of their subject by applying the learned concepts and specifications to a range of different scenarios, each of which can be set in a variety of contexts.

Subject Choice

The following abbreviations appear in this specification:

  • International Advanced Subsidiary – IAS
  • International A2 – IA2
  • International Advanced Level – IAL

Mathematics and Further Mathematics

Mathematics is the most important subject during A-level, especially for those students undertaking science subjects. Mathematics is powered by reasoning, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving and even effective communication. Practically every career choice uses math in some way as well as it helps us understand the world better.

During their IAL students will be encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and mathematical development. They will use their knowledge and skills to apply mathematics to real-life situations, solve unstructured problems and use mathematics as an effective means of communication.

Mathematics – Content and Assessment

Pure Mathematics UnitExaminationMarks
P1. Pure Mathematics 1Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
33.3% of the total IAS
16.6% of the total IAL
P1. Pure Mathematics 1Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
33.3% of the total IAS
16.6% of the total IAL
P1. Pure Mathematics 1Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
33.3% of the total IAS
16.6% of the total IAL
P1. Pure Mathematics 1Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
33.3% of the total IAS
16.6% of the total IAL
Application UnitsExaminationMarks
M1. Mechanics 1Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
33.3% of the total IAS
16.6% of the total IAL
M1. Mechanics 1Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
33.3% of the total IAS
16.6% of the total IAL
P3. Pure Mathematics 3Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
33.3% of the total IAS
16.6% of the total IAL
P4. Pure Mathematics 4Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
33.3% of the total IAS
16.6% of the total IAL

Further Mathematics – Content and Assessment

Pure Mathematics UnitExaminationMarks
FP1. Further Pure Mathematics 1Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
33.3% of the total IAS
16.6% of the total IAL
FP2. Pure Mathematics 2
Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
33.3% of the total IAS
16.6% of the total IAL
FP3. Pure Mathematics 3Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
33.3% of the total IAS
16.6% of the total IAL
Application UnitsExaminationMarks
M2. Mechanics 2Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
33.3% of the total IAS
16.6% of the total IAL
S2. Statistics 2Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
33.3% of the total IAS
16.6% of the total IAL

Biology

Biology is a fascinating subject for many students and is at the forefront of many recent technological advances, from vaccines to genetics. Generally, it helps us understand the living world and the ways its many species, including humans, function, evolve and interact. During their studies, students will develop their knowledge and understanding of biological concepts by applying them to a range of different practical and theoretical situations.

Biology – Content and Assessment

IASExaminationMarks
Unit 1: Molecules; Diet and Nutrition; Transport and Health Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
Unit 2: Cell Structure and Development; Biodiversity; Conservation.Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
Unit 3: Practical Skills in Biology 1Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
IA2ExaminationMarks
Unit 4: Energy; Environment; Microbiology and Immunity.Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes 40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
Unit 5: Respiration; Internal Environment; Coordination; Gene TechnologyWritten examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes 40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
Unit 6: Practical Skills in Biology 2Written examination: 1 hour and 20 minutes 20% of the total IAS
10% of the total IAL

Chemistry

Chemistry plays a role in everyone’s life and touches almost every aspect of our existence in some way. Most of what we use today owes its evolution in some way to the study of Chemistry. It is often referred to as the central science because it joins together physics, mathematics, biology and medicine, in other words, the earth and environmental sciences. In our programme, students will develop their knowledge and understanding of chemistry by applying the learned concepts to a range of different situations, both practical and theoretical, set in a variety of contexts.

Chemistry – Content and Assessment

IASExaminationMarks
Unit 1: Structure; Bonding; Introduction to Organic ChemistryWritten examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
Unit 2: Energetics; Group Chemistry; Halogenoalkanes and Alcohols.Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
Unit 3: Practical Skills in Chemistry 1Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
20% of the total IAS
10% of the total IAL
IA2ExaminationMarks
Unit 4: Rates; Equilibria; Further Organic Chemistry. Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
Unit 5: Transitions; Metals; Organic Nitrogen Chemistry Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
Unit 6: Practical Skills in Chemistry 2Written examination:
1 hour and 20 minutes
20% of the total IAS
10% of the total IAL

Physics

As well as playing an important role in many of the liberal arts disciplines, Physics contributes to society’s understanding of areas such as energy production, weather, medical science and space exploration. Furthermore, it also explores fundamental questions such as, ‘How did the universe start?’ and ‘What is a black hole?’

Academic success in Physics often offers a route to a rewarding and well-paid profession, along with a high level of job security. In our programme, learners will develop their knowledge and understanding of the subject by applying the concepts learned to a range of practical and theoretical situations, set in a variety of contexts.

Physics – Content and Assessment

IASExaminationMarks
Unit 1: Mechanics and MaterialsWritten examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes 40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
Unit 2: Waves and Electricity Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes 40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
Unit 3: Practical Skills in Physics 1Written examination: 1 hour and 20 minutes 20% of the total IAS
10% of the total IAL
IA2ExaminationMarks
Unit 4: Further Mechanics; Fields; Particles Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes 40% of the total IA2
20% of the total IAL
Unit 5: Thermodynamics; Radiation; Oscillations; CosmologyWritten examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes 40% of the total IA2
20% of the total IAL
Unit 6: Practical Skills in Physics 2Written examination: 1 hour and 20 minutes 40% of the total IA2
20% of the total IAL

Economics

Our Economics programme studies the behaviour of various economic agents, including governments, corporations and consumers. The basis of the subject involves an understanding of what happens in the financial markets and the macroeconomy. This is achieved by a statistical approach and centres on analysing and explaining their significance, thereby ultimately understanding the different policy options on offer in order to evaluate their outcomes.

Economics – Content and Assessment

IASExaminationMarks
Unit 1: Markets in Action Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
Unit 2: Microeconomic Performance and Policy Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
IA2ExaminationMarks
Unit 3: Business Behaviour Written examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
Unit 4: Development in the Global EconomyWritten examination:
1 hour and 30 minutes
40% of the total IAS
20% of the total IAL
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