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Alevel Biology at King Edward VI Aston School

Course description

Biology, the study of life, provides us with knowledge of ourselves as well as the world around us.  It offers rewards, therefore, for the specialist and non-specialist alike.  For the specialist, career opportunities exist in traditional areas such as medicine, dentistry, physiotherapy, optometry, veterinary science and also in the rapidly expanding fields of biotechnology and genetic engineering.  These disciplines will affect all of our lives through their applications in medicine, industry and agriculture.  For the non-specialist, the course provides a greater understanding of life and life processes, as well as training in scientific method and analysis.

A greater depth of treatment is given to topics covered at GCSE/iGCSE and many new areas are also encountered.  Students must be prepared to accommodate the change in intellectual pace and also become more self-reliant in their studies.  It is not essential to take A Level Chemistry to support studies, and we often have students taking Biology as their only science.  However, those intending to pursue biologically based careers would normally be expected to have a qualification in A level Chemistry.  Most universities require Biology and Chemistry at A level for entry to medical school.  For Optometry, Mathematics or Physics is normally required in addition to Biology.


Course content

A Level (AQA-7402)


3.1 Biological Molecules

3.2 Cells

3.3 Organisms exchange substances with their


3.4 Genetic information, variation and relationships

between organisms.

3.5 Energy transfers in and between organisms.

3.6 Organisms respond to changes in their internal

and external environments.

3.7 Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems

3.8  The control of gene expression.


The A Level is assessed through three examinations, each two hours long, at the end of the two year course. These exams specific parts of the specification and are a variety of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions. In addition to these exams practical assessment will take place throughout the year and will be marked across a number of assessed practical tasks. The practical assessments do not count towards the final grade of the A level.

Future opportunities

University degree courses requiring an understanding of Biology.

Further information

Practical Work

Practical skills are developed in conjunction with the theory topics and include:

biochemical and physiological experiments;

the microscopic examination of plant and animal tissues;

dissections (not compulsory).

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact King Edward VI Aston School directly.

Last updated date: 13 November 2015
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