Examination Board: AQA
Biology involves the study of a wide range of exciting topics, ranging from molecular biology to the study of ecosystems and from micro-organisms to mammoths.
For the AS Level you will study:
There are four main topics in the first year and six practical assignments.
Unit 1: Biological molecules
Unit 2: Cells
Unit 3: Organisms exchange substances with their environment
Unit 4: Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
For the A Level you will study:
Year two helps you build on the firm foundation from AS study, and, like year one, has four academic topics plus six practical assignments.
Unit 5: Energy transfers in and between organisms
Unit 6: Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
Unit 7: Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
Unit 8: The control of gene expression
How is the course assessed?
Year One (AS Level)
Paper 1 and Paper 2
Each testing any content from topics 1-4, including relevant practical skills
Written exams: 1 hour 30 minutes (75 marks – 50% of AS)
Year Two (A Level)
Paper 1 and Paper 2
Each testing any content from topics 1-4 and 5-8, including relevant practical skills
Written exams: 2 hours (91 marks – 35% of A Level)
Testing any content from topics1-8, including relevant practical skills
Written exam: 2 hours (78 marks – 30% of A Level)
What skills will I need and develop in this course?
The Biology A Level course helps students develop a number of skills:
• How to collect data and evaluate it
• How to investigate facts and use deduction
• How to communicate your point of view effectively
• How to take responsibility for your own learning
Subject combination advice
Students who take Biology often also study from a wide range of subjects, including psychology, sociology, PE,
chemistry, physics, geography, languages and the arts.
What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?
Biology is a great choice of subject for people who want a career in health and clinical professions, such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, physiotherapy, pharmacy, optometry, nursing, zoology, marine biology or forensic science.
What are the formal entry requirements for this course?
Biology GCSE minimum Grade 6, combined science GCSE minimum Grade 7.
What activities enrich this subject?
Attending Biology in Action lectures in London, an ecology field trip, keeping abreast of the news and topical TV articles and programmes dealing with current biological issues.