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Why choose this subject?

Biology is the study of life and incorporates a wide variety of exciting subject areas, ranging from molecular biology to the study of ecosystems, from genetics to disease. The A Level course builds on knowledge, understanding and practical skills developed during GCSE Science. The course involves a mixture of scientific methods, problem solving, practical skills and socially relevant content. It also enables students to develop the essential skills of synoptic essay writing, which is an aspect of modern education highlighted as missing by the major universities.

How will this subject be delivered?

The subject is delivered through a variety of lessons, practical experiments, experimental write-ups and independent research sessions.

Year 12
• Biological molecules.
• Cells.
• Organisms exchange substances with their environment.
• Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms.

Year 13 (A Level)
• Energy transfers in and between organisms.
• Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments.
• Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems.
• The control of gene expression.

How is it assessed?

AS Level
• Two written exam papers.
• 1 hour 30 minutes.
• Each paper is worth 50% of AS grade.
• No coursework.

A Level
• Three written exam papers.
• 2 hours.
• Two papers worth 35% and one paper worth 30% of A Level grade.
• No coursework.

Subject specific entry requirements

A minimum of two grade 6’s in GCSE Combined Science or a minimum of grade 6 in GCSE Biology and grade 5 in GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics. Grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics.


Students studying A Level Biology can enter into a wide range of fields, including further study in veterinary science, medicine, optometry, psychology, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, physiotherapy, sports science, microbiology, forensic science, biophysics, biochemistry, genetics, neuroscience, botany, zoology, ecology and environmental science and biology.

Additional costs relating to this course

• Contribution towards the cost of trips.
• Stationery.
• Deposit for textbooks.

Level: AS and A LEVEL

Board: AQA

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