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Biology (A Level) at Roundhay School All through education from 4 to 18

Course description

Biology involves the study of a wide range of exciting topics, ranging from molecular biology to the study of ecosystems and from microorganisms to mammoths. An understanding of the principles of Biology allows students to appreciate not only how our bodies work and how diseases stop them working, but also the fragility of life on Earth and the potential benefits and dangers of genetic engineering.


Studying A level biology will enable you to:

  • develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other
  • develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods
  • develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills
  • develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject,
  • understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.


To study Biology you must be prepared to ask difficult questions. You have to reject the bland unscientific statements and sound bites that the media throw at you and be prepared to appreciate all around you from a biological standpoint. If you are inquisitive about the world, you will love Biology.

The course explores the principles that form the basis of biology such as biological molecules, cells, genetics and variation, physiology, immunology and biodiversity. It also looks at the applications of these principles and develops the concepts and principles introduced through topics such as respiration, energy and ecosystems, survival and response, inheritance and evolution and molecular biology

Course content

This qualification is linear. . A-level students will sit exams at the end of Year 13

  • 3.1 Biological molecules
    • Monomers and polymers
    • Carbohydrates
    • Lipids
    • Proteins
    • DNA and RNA
    • ATP
    • Water
  • 3.2 Cells
    • Cell structure
    • Cells arise from other cells
    • Transport across membranes
    • Immune system
  • 3.3 Organisms exchange substances with their environment
    • Surface area to volume ratio
    • Gas exchange
    • Digestion
    • Mass transport
  • 3.4 Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
    • DNA, genes and chromosomes
    • DNA and protein synthesis
    • Diversity
    • Species and taxonomy
    • Biodiversity
  • 3.5 Energy transfers in and between organisms (A level only)
    • Photosynthesis
    • Respiration
    • Energy and ecosystems
    • Nutrient cycles
  • 3.6 Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments (A level only)
    • Survival and response
    • Nervous coordination
    • Skeletal muscles
    • Homeostasis
  • 3.7 Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems (A level only)
    • Inheritance
    • Populations
    • Evolution
  • 3.8 The control of gene expression  (A level only)
    • Effect of gene mutations
    • Gene expression
    • Genome projects
    • Genome technology


Entry requirements

General Entry Requirements

Students must achieve a minimum of 5 subjects at GCSE grades 4 or above - please see the prospectus for further subject specific entry requirements


Biology papers

Paper 3

What's assessed: Any content from topics 1–4, including relevant practical skills, 2 hours , 91 marks, 35% of A-level

A mixture of short and long answer questions and extended response questions

Paper 4

What's assessed: Any content from topics 5–8, including relevant practical skills, exam: 2 hours, 91 marks, 35% of A-level

A mixture of short and long answer questions and an extended comprehension question

Paper 5

What's assessed: Any content from topics 1–8, including relevant practical skills exam: 2 hours, 78 marks, 30% of A-level

Structured questions, including practical techniques, critical analysis of given experimental data, one essay from a choice of two titles

Future opportunities

Biology can open pathways to many careers either through a university or modern apprenticeship route.


Biologists work in the fields of cell biology, medicine, food production and ecology. Examples of careers where biology is desirable are: Teaching; Pharmacy; Medicine; Dentistry; Veterinary; Biochemistry; Conservation, Research Scientist, Geneticist, Science Writer and many more, too numerous to list here

Further information

To discuss this course,please contact Head of Science Mr Peter Hurst.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Roundhay School All through education from 4 to 18 directly.

Last updated date: 25 September 2018
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