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Biology A Level at Bishop Ramsey C of E School

Course description

Biology is a fascinating subject giving an insight into the living world around us. The Biology A (Salters-Nuffield) course offers students an opportunity to experience the interrelated nature of Biology, linking a variety of topics and showing how genetics and the environment can work together to influnce organisms

Course content

The Biology course consists of eight topics studied over two years. The topics covered include the Circulatory System, Genes, Ecology and Respiration. Students will be expected to demonstrate and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills they develop during the course. In addition, they will be expected to analyse, interpret and evaluate a range of scientific information, ideas and evidence using their knowledge, understanding and skills.

Entry requirements

Students may have studied either double or triple science at GCSE

GCSE Biology Grade 6 (students must have been entered for all higher tier papers) or Additional Science Grade 7 and Core Science Grade 7

Mathematics Grade 6

In addition to these entry requirements there is an entrance test sat in the summer term. This is based on the additional Biology curriculum and requires a minumum pass mark at 40%.

Please note, a Laboratory Book costing £6.00 will need to be purchased and also a textbook.


We study the Edexcel Biology A (Salters-Nuffield). This is a two year course culminating in three written exams.

Paper 1 - The Natural Environment and Species Survival - 2 hours 33.3% weighting

  • Topic 1: Lifestyle, Health and Risk
  • Topic 2: Genes and Health
  • Topic 3: Voice of the Genome
  • Topic 4: Biodiversity and Natural Resources
  • Topic 5: On the Wild Side
  • Topic 6: Immunity, Infection and Forensics

Paper 2 - Energy, Exercise and Co-ordination - 2 hours 33.3% weighting

  • Topic 1: Lifestyle, Health and Risk
  • Topic 2: Genes and Health
  • Topic 3: Voice of the Genome
  • Topic 4: Biodiversity and Natural Resources
  • Topic 5: Run for Your Life
  • Topic 6: Gray Matter

Paper 3 - General and Practical Applications in Biology - 2 hours 33.3% weighting

  • All topics across the full A level specification
  • A section of the paper will include questions based on a pre-release article

In addition to the grade awarded as a result of the written papers there is a practical endorsement that can be added to the final certificate. This is assessed during the course and depends on the work carried out in class and documented in a Biology lab book which  needs to be purchased at the start of year 12. Students are also expected to purchase a text book at the start of year 12.

Future opportunities

Linear A level Biology can open up a range of careers and higher education courses in medicine, veterinary science and dentristy, optometry, physiotherapy, pharmaceutical sciences, forensic science, biomedical and biological sciences, environmental health and food sciences. A level Biology can also help gain direct entry into employment, especially into the scientific and related sectors.

Further information

Please contact Mr Murphy at the school or visit the Edexcel website.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Bishop Ramsey C of E School directly.

Last updated date: 31 October 2017
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    • To enrol on a 3 A Level programme of study at least five GCSE's at grade 9 to 4 (two of which must be a 6 or above) including English and Mathematics, will be required.

      Individual course requirements must also be met and the Sciences, Maths and PE have an induction tests . Requirements are clearly stated in the Course Guide on the school website.

      Students may start on four A Levels and drop to three once they have determined their strengths (usually in the second half term of Year 12). Some students do finish all 4 A Level. courses.

      The Extended Project Qualification will also be an option for some students.

      We are also offering a Creative Pathway where students may choose 2 or 3 A Levels from Art, Drama, Photography and Film Studies. Entrance requirements could be met if a portfolio of work is sufficiently good and demonstrates ability to complete the course.