What does it involve?

A-level Biology is an incredibly exciting course, designed to deepen a student’s understanding and build on the knowledge acquired at GCSE. Biology is a highly practical subject and students will spend a great deal of time getting hands-on in the laboratory.

Over the two year course, students will study modules on: biological molecules; cells; organisms exchanging substances with their environment; genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms; energy transfers in and between organisms; organisms responding to changes in their internal and external environments; genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems; the control of gene expression. Biology helps students develop a strong attention to detail and encourages further questioning. Students need an enquiring mind and the ability to retain large amounts of information. The study of Biology complements the other Science subjects but goes equally well with subjects like Geography or Physical Education.

How is it assessed?

This takes the form of three two-hour-long papers, each of which contributes to around a third of the marks. Twelve required practical assignments are completed in the classroom and assessed in any of the written examinations, equating to 15% of the overall mark.

Which skills or qualifications do I need?

A good pass at GCSE level in Biology, usually a Grade 6 or above.

University or employment prospects?

Many students studying A-level Biology take up places in Higher Education to study medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, physiotherapy, biomedical science and other Science-related courses.