A-Level Curriculum

Southshore College follows the University of Cambridge syllabi for each of the AS-Level and A-Level subjects offered.

Students appear for Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) in the May/June examination sessions of each year.

Students choose a minimum of three and a maximum of four optional subjects, based on discussions with the Principal or Academic Coordinator. For detailed information about the subjects listed below, please visit the CIE Website.

Prerequisites exist for certain subject choices. Students who wish to take Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics or Accounting should have taken these subjects at the O-Level, securing a minimum grade of B. Students who have not taken Additional Mathematics at the O-Level may request A-Level Mathematics if their O-Level Mathematics grade is B or better.

Humanities courses may be pursued without having done them at the O-Level. Students intending to choose History, Law, Media Studies, Psychology or Sociology must have excellent command of English and an interest in reading, as these courses require extensive reading, research and writing. For Economics or Business Studies, students must have done well in Mathematics, English Language and the corresponding O-Level subject (if applicable).

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
The A and AS Level Accounting syllabus enables students to apply their accounting knowledge and understanding in order to analyze and present information, give reasoned explanations, and make judgments and recommendations. The syllabus covers topics such as the recording of financial information, accounting principles and control systems, and the preparation of final accounts for a variety of different organisations and businesses. Students learn more about raising capital by shares and loans, ratio analysis and cost accounting, and also study the preparation of cash flow statements, cash flow analysis, the repayment of share capital, and standard costing and investment appraisal, among many other topics.
The Art and Design syllabus considers expression and communication. Students learn about visual perception and aesthetic experience, and the ways in which art and design creates a language of its own. Most of the work for this syllabus is practical or studio based, so that students can develop their abilities of observation and analysis of the visual world, sensitivity, skill, personal expression and imagination. They also learn how to relate their skills to an enhanced knowledge of their own cultures, past and present, as well as an appreciation of practical design problems.
AS and A-Level Biology builds on the skills acquired at the O-Level. The syllabus includes the main theoretical concepts which are fundamental to the subject, a section on some current applications of biology, and a strong emphasis on advanced practical skills. Practical skills are assessed in a timetabled practical examination. The emphasis throughout is on the understanding of concepts and the application of biology ideas in novel contexts as well as on the acquisition of knowledge. The course will foster creative thinking and problem-solving skills which are transferable to any future career path. Biology is ideal for students who want to study biology or a wide variety of related subjects at university or to follow a career in science.
The Business Studies syllabus enables students to understand and appreciate the nature and scope of business, and the role it plays in society. The syllabus covers economic, environmental, ethical, governmental, legal, social and technological issues, and encourages a critical understanding of organisations, the markets they serve and the process of adding value. Students examine the management of organisations and, in particular, the process of decision-making in a dynamic external environment.
AS and A-Level Chemistry builds on the skills acquired at the O-Level. The syllabus includes the main theoretical concepts which are fundamental to the subject, a section on some current applications of chemistry, and a strong emphasis on advanced practical skills. Practical skills are assessed in a timetabled practical examination. The emphasis throughout is on the understanding of concepts and the application of chemistry ideas in novel contexts as well as on the acquisition of knowledge. The course will foster creative thinking and problem-solving skills which are transferable to any future career path. Chemistry is ideal for students who want to study chemistry or a wide variety of related subjects at university or to follow a career in science.
The aim of the Cambridge International AS and A Level Computer Science syllabus is to encourage learners to develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of computer science and how computer programs work in a range of contexts. Learners will study topics including information representation, communication and Internet technologies, hardware, software development, and relational database modelling. As they progress, learners will develop their computational thinking and use problem solving to develop computer-based solutions using algorithms and programming languages.
Through the AS and A-Level Economics syllabus, students learn how to explain and analyse economic issues and arguments, evaluate economic information, and organise, present and communicate ideas and judgements clearly. The syllabus covers a range of basic economic ideas, including an introduction to the price system and government intervention, international trade and exchange rates, the measurement of employment and inflation, and the causes and consequences of inflation. Students also study the price system, the theory of the firm, market failure, macroeconomic theory and policy, and economic growth and development.
AS and A-Level History placed emphasis on both historical knowledge and on the skills required for historical research. Students learn about cause and effect, continuity and change, similarity and difference, and use historical evidence as part of their studies. The flexible and wide-ranging syllabus covers six periods. Schools choose which periods to focus on, allowing them to build a course to cater to its students, or which is relevant to the local or regional context.
The main aim of the Law syllabus is to provide students with an introduction to the main principles of the law as it is practised in England and Wales. As a result, students build their knowledge and understanding of the English legal system, and develop a critical awareness of its structure, personnel and operation. The syllabus also focuses on two areas of substantive law (contract and tort), and encourages students to develop skills of analysis and problem-solving through the application of legal rules.
This syllabus offers learners the chance to develop an understanding and appreciation of the place of media in our everyday lives. The syllabus enables learners to take a hands-on approach to the subject. Through the coursework components – the Foundation Portfolio for AS Level and the Advanced Portfolio for A Level – they create their own media products from planning through to execution. Learners also consider and analyze examples from existing media, examining production processes and technologies and the effects they achieve.
AS and A-Level Mathematics builds on the skills acquired at the O-Level. Southshore offers two course options – Pure Mathematics and Mechanics or Pure Mathematics and Probability & Statistics.
AS and A-Level Physics builds on the skills acquired at the O-Level. The syllabus includes the main theoretical concepts which are fundamental to the subject, a section on some current applications of physics, and a strong emphasis on advanced practical skills. Practical skills are assessed in a timetabled practical examination. The emphasis throughout is on the understanding of concepts and the application of physics ideas in novel contexts as well as on the acquisition of knowledge. The course will foster creative thinking and problem-solving skills which are transferable to any future career path. Physics is ideal for students who want to study physics or a wide variety of related subjects at university or to follow a career in science.
AS and A-Level Psychology students develop their appreciation of the subject by exploring the ways in which psychology is conducted. As part of their studies, students also review important research; this provides an insight into the ways in which psychology has been applied, thereby leading to a better understanding of key themes and issues. The syllabus reflects the five core areas of psychology, namely cognitive, social, physiological, developmental and the psychology of individual differences; it also relates psychology to education, health, organisations, the environment and abnormality.
In a rapidly changing world, AS and A-Level Sociology offers students the opportunity not only to explore the processes that are shaping current trends, but also to develop an understanding of the complexity and diversity of human societies and their continuities with the past. The study of sociology stimulates awareness of contemporary social, cultural and political issues, and focuses on the importance of examining these issues in a rigorous, reasoned and analytical way.
A-Level Urdu builds on the language skills gained at the O-Level, and is the ideal foundation for university-level study, or to improve career prospects. Students will learn how to use the language in a variety of situations. They will be expected to handle texts and other source materials, extracting information in order to respond to specific tasks. Through their studies, students can expect to achieve greater fluency, accuracy and confidence in the language.
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