Post 16



Specification AQA Biology
Contact Mrs C Black (Curriculum Leader: Biology)
Entry Requirements B grades in all examined units in either GCSE Biology or GCSE Core and Additional Science and at least a grade 6 in Mathematics.


Is this course for me?

If you enjoy studying a wide range of topics and developing your ability to link your understanding across these topics and apply it to unfamiliar contexts, you will be well suited to the study of A Level Biology. Biology is both a challenging and rewarding subject, which develops an array of transferable skills that are essential for a successful career, including essay-writing, practical and mathematical skills, as well as skills in self-direction, independent learning and teamwork. Ultimately, you should take Biology because you are either interested in the subject or are good at it (ideally, both!).

Where can it take me?

Many students enjoy the study of Biology at A Level so much that they choose to study a biology-related degree course at university, such as biomedical science, medicine, veterinary science, midwifery or physiotherapy. Others go on to careers in law or teaching, for example, but are able to utilise the skills they developed in A Level Biology. Biology is one of the facilitating subjects identified by the Russell Group of universities.

What do current students think?

  • “Biology has a lot of really fascinating content – just make sure to keep up with the work so you understand it as you go along!”
  • “A Level Biology is very interesting and has a fantastic range of topics. However, to do well it requires extra reading and a genuine interest and commitment to the course, but I think it is my favourite
    A Level and the most interesting.”
  • “Biology is hard and requires a lot of effort to understand, but it’s really interesting (and occasionally mind-blowing) to learn how things work, especially in the human body. It’s definitely not ‘the easy science’!”


A Level Qualification Structure:

A Level Biology is a linear qualification, with students sitting all the A Level examinations at the end of their A Level course. There are three assessments: paper 1 will assess any content from sections 1 to 4 of the course, including relevant practical skills; paper 2 will assess any content from sections 5 to 8 and relevant practical skills; paper 3 is a synoptic paper based on all content from sections 1 to 8, including practical skills. The subject content is broken down into eight sections, each of which has associated mathematical and practical skills (Sections 5 to 8 are designed to be taught in the second year of the A Level course):

  • Section 1: Biological molecules
  • Section 2: Cells
  • Section 3: Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  • Section 4: Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
  • Section 5: Energy transfers in and between organisms
  • Section 6: Stimuli, both internal and external, are detected and lead to a response
  • Section 7: Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  • Section 8: The control of gene expression

Specification AQA Biology
Contact Mrs C Black (Curriculum Leader: Biology)
Entry requirements Grade B or above in GCSE Biology or Additional Science.


Please note: Biology has a new, reformed Specification for 2015, in which the AS and Advanced Level are standalone qualifications.


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