Biology

Biology is an exciting and rapidly developing subject with a central place in the future of our society. Every week Biology is in the news with developments in our understanding of genetics, evolution and disease. It is the study of all organic life! The course ranges from the miracles of birth and the processes by which our genes are expressed during the very beginning of life, through to how we came into being at all!

Course Type

A and AS Level

Entry requirements

  • Grade B in the Biology examined units of GCSE Core and Additional Science or Grade B in the examined units of GCSE Biology
  • Grade C in the Chemistry examined units of GCSE Core and Additional Science or Grade C in the examined units of GCSE Chemistry
  • Level 5 in GCSE English Language

Course breakdown

In Year 12, you will study a range of topics, including:

  • Foundations in Biology
  • Exchange and transport
  • Biodiversity
  • Evolution
  • Disease

In Year 13, you will build on your first year of study, exploring more advanced topics including:

  • Communication
  • Homeostasis
  • Metabolic energy
  • Genetics
  • Evolution
  • Ecosystems

How will the course be assessed?

At the end of Year 12, you will be entered for the AS level in Biology. This will assess the content and skills covered in the first year of study.

  • Exam: Breadth in Biology – 1.5 hours – 50% of AS level
  • Exam: Depth in Biology – 1.5 hours – 50% of AS level

At the end of Year 13, students will be entered for the A level in Biology. This will assess the content and skills covered in both years of study.

  • Exam: Biological processes – 2.5 hours – 37% of A level
  • Exam: Biological diversity – 2.5 hours – 37% of A level
  • Exam: Unified biology – 1.5 hours – 26% of A level

Note that this is a reformed A level. This means that the grades obtained for the AS level do not contribute to the final A level grade.

As a Science student, uou will also be required to demonstrate competence in a set of practical techniques and procedures in order to achieve the Practical Endorsement required for further study of Biology at University. As part of the course, you will complete a wide range of practical activities to ensure that you have the best chance of success in meeting the requirements of the Practical Endorsement.

Where can the course lead?

Biology opens so many doors for students. It allows entry to biomedical degrees, zoology, botany, marine biology, medicine, dentistry, pharmacology, veterinary science - the list is extensive! This core subject will be highly sought after and respected by universities and so will strengthen an admission to other subjects too. It would be a great spring board to allow you to pursue careers including but not exclusive of: medicine, Higher Education lecturer, microbiologist, nature conservation officer, pharmacologist, research scientist, secondary school teacher or soil scientist.