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Biology A level at John Henry Newman Catholic College

Course description

Biology is the study of living things and how they interact with the environment. A level Biology appeals to students who enjoy science and are naturally inquisitive about the human body, the natural world and the diversity of organisms that populate our planet.  The A-level Biology course involves the study of human, animal and plant biology over 2 years.

Course content

In year 12

  • Unit 1: Biological molecules
  • Unit 2: Cells
  • Unit 3: Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  • Unit 4: Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

In year 13

  • Unit 5: Energy transfers in and between organisms
  • Unit 6: Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  • Unit 7: Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  • Unit 8: The control of gene expression

Entry requirements

GCSE grades 6,6 from double award Science (eg AQA Trilogy, AQA Synergy, OCR Gateway Science etc) or grade 6’s in the individual sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). Students will also be expected to have a minimum of a grade 5 in both GCSE Mathematics and GCSE English.


Assessment of A Level Biology:

  • Paper 1: 2 hours assessing content of units 1,2,3 & 4. (35% of A Level).
  • Paper 2: 2 hours assessing content of units 5,6,7 & 8. (35% of A Level).
  • Paper 3: 2 hours assessing content of all units including an essay. (30% of A Level).

All three papers are sat in the June of the second year of study (Year 13).

Practical elements completed throughout the two year course (full A Level) are assessed internally. The examinations will also assess practical skills with exam questions based on 12 set practicals. 

Future opportunities

The Biology studied at A level provides a solid background for most science based degree courses. It is required to at least AS level by some universities for courses in medicine, dentistry, natural sciences and biological sciences. A level Biologists also have a wide variety of options when choosing which subject to study at university and is a great starting point for those students interested in studying;

  • Genetics
  • Environmental Science
  • Ecology
  • Bio-medical Science
  • Nursing
  • Physiotherapy
  • Veterinary Science
  • Marine Biology
  • Zoology

Biological science graduates are also highly sort after by many other employment fields such as:

  • Finance & Banking
  • Accounting & Consulting
  • Education and Teaching

Further information

There are plenty of opportunities for university workshops, field work and conservation studies ‘ex situ’ (in zoos) and ‘in situ’ local area.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 19 November 2018
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