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Biology AS and A Level at Newman Catholic School

Course description

The new Biology AS/A Level that we offer is the AQA Biology course. Topics allow students to fully broaden their knowledge of traditional Biology (for example Cells and Biological Molecules) along with the new and exciting developments in the subject (for example the control of gene expression). The AS Level in Biology is a standalone course and does not contribute to the A2 Level. However, the first four modules of the A2 are exactly the same as the AS which allows the students to sit the AS Level at the end of Y12. This will allow them to gain some experience of the grade at which they are working at, the style of examination questions they will encounter (although the AS questions have been designed to be less difficult to the A Level questions) and a separate qualification in the subject. 

Course content

The course contains 8 modules;

  1. Biological molecules
  2. Cells
  3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
  5. Energy transfers in and between organisms (A Level only)
  6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments (A Level only)
  7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems(A Level only)
  8. The control of gene expression (A Level only)

Entry requirements

In order to start the course students must have gained at least B grades in their GCSE Science exams.


The AS Level is assessed through two, one and a half hour exams at the end of Y12. Each exam contributes 50% of the AS Level and is a mixture of short and long answer questions.

The A Level is assessed through three, two hour long exams at the end of Y13. Paper one and two are a mixture of short and long answer questions (each contributing to 35% of the A Level), paper three consists of structured questions, including practical techniques, critical analysis of practical techniques and a written essay from a choice of two titles (contributing the final 30%).

Practical skills are being assessed through recommended practicals completed throughout the duration of the course, students then gain either a pass or fail for their practical skills.

Future opportunities

Biology is an excellent stepping stone for many Further Education courses for example Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Natural Sciences, Midwifery, Radiology, Geography, Sports Science, Microbiology and so many more.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newman Catholic School directly.

Last updated date: 29 September 2016
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