Course type: A level & Applied • Awarding/exam body: AQA
Biology is the study of the natural world and will take you on a journey through life, from the macroscopic environments that drive the biodiversity we see on Earth to the microscopic world of the cell and molecular interactions. Studying Biology at A Level will engage you with the complexities of Biological concepts and enable you to link these to concepts learnt in Chemistry and Physics. Whilst there is a lot of theory to learn, there will also be a great deal of analysis of experimental data as you will be trained in the skills needed to be a professional scientist.
Strong mathematical and reasoning skills are essential. As well as A Level Chemistry, Biology is well supported by Mathematics and/ or Physics.
Unit 01: Biological molecules
Unit 02: Cells
Unit 03: Organisms exchange substances with their environment
Unit 04: Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
Unit 05: Energy transfers in and between organisms
Unit 06: Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
Unit 07: Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
Unit 08: The control of gene expression.
Assessment is 100% examination-based, with twelve standard experiments being assessed and awarded independently.
It is recommended to study Biology with A level Chemistry to access most of the biological options at university, including: Biological Science, Chemistry, Sport-Science or Psychology at degree level, or any one of the medical professions.
To qualify to study 3 A level/ Applied subjects, you will need to achieve 6 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above, preferably including English Language or Maths at grade 4 or above.
In addition/ within those 6 GCSEs, for this subject you will need to achieve Grade 6 in Maths and grade 5 in English Language, Grade 6 in Core Science and Grade 7 in Additional Science; GCSE score of 4.8 or above (N.B. Applied Science not accepted)
Grade 6 in Maths and grade 5 in English Language, Grade 7 in Core Science and Grade 6 in Additional Science; GCSE score of 4.8 or above (N.B. Applied Science not accepted)
Grade 6 in Maths and grade 5 in English Language, Grade 6 in Biology and Grade 6 in either Chemistry or Physics; GCSE score of 4.8 or above (N.B. Applied Science not accepted)
- A two-day Biology residential stay at, for example, Juniper Hall in the Surrey Hills.
- Experiences such as The Imperial College London Genetic Workshop.
- Compete against the best by entering the National Biology Olympiad Exam.
- Work experience opportunities such as St George’s Hospital Healthcare Shadowing Scheme.