What does the course involve?

Biology at A-level covers 8 main themes:

Year 1 Year 2
1. Biological molecules 5. Energy transfers in and between organisms
2. Cells 6. Organisms respond to changes in their
internal and external environments
3. Organisms exchange substances with their
7. Genetics, populations, evolution and
4. Genetic information, variation and
relationships between organisms
8. The control of gene expression


The content of the course will be very detailed and you will find that many aspects of
interpretation will test your analytical skills to the limit. We will help you to develop your study
skills and enable you to progress through regular internal assessments.
Biology is of course a practical subject, and through regular practical work you will develop your
existing skills and learn new ones. Lessons will include theoretical aspects of Biology, together
with activities that support and develop your theoretical understanding.

What qualifications do I need?

We would usually recommend students have a Grade 6 or above in GCSE Combined Science or a 6
or above in two of the GCSE separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry or Physics).


This qualification is linear which means that you will sit all your exams at the end of your course.
For the A Level course you have THREE written papers:
Paper 1: Assesses content from topics 1-4, including relevant practical skills.
Paper 2: Assesses content from topics 5-8, including relevant practical skills.
Both written exams are 2 hours with 91 marks available (76 marks long and short answer
questions, 15 marks comprehension question) each contributing to 35% of A Level qualification.
Paper 3: Assesses any content from topics 1-8 including any relevant practical skills.
Written exam of 2 hours with 78 marks available (38 marks structured questions, including
practical techniques, 15 marks critical analysis of given experimental data, 25 marks one essay
from a choice of two titles) contributing to 30% of A Level qualification.
Further details can be viewed at:

General Comments

Biology is a demanding course but for those willing to work hard it is an extremely rewarding
subject to study. You will be given the scope to learn about some of the more topical issues in
Biology today.

Future Prospects

A Level Biology provides a sound basis for entry into higher education, giving a good grounding
for many careers in science and technology, such as medicine, the paramedic professions,
laboratory science in industry or the Health Service. Careers in conservation, research and many
more areas are also options on completion of the course.