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Biology AQA AS and A Level at Larkmead School

Course description

This is a subject which is now a reformed A level which means that the result of the AS exams does not contribute to the overall A level mark and grade. If a student leaves the course after AS then this new type of AS is worth 40% of the UCAS points of the full A level for University entry in 2017 and beyond. If a student completes the two year A level course then it is only assessment at the end of the second year that counts towards the full A level grade

Course content


Paper 1 Topics 1-4

Paper 2 Topics 1-4 

1 Biological molecules

2 Cells

3 Organisms exchange substances with their environment

4 Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms



Paper 1 Topics 1-4

Paper 2 Topics 5-8

Paper 3 Topics 1-8

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

6 Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments

7 Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems

8 The control of gene expression 


How you will learn:

  • Class discussions and presentations
  • Research and independent learning
  • A range of practical work in lessons
  • Analysis of data
  • Answering challenging questions

Skills you will need:

  • An interest in the subject, beyond what is taught at school.
  • Excellent Independent learning and organisational skills.
  • Good maths skills, including calculating percentage and interpreting graphs Excellent language skills, including using technical vocabulary and giving clear, concise explanations
  • Self-motivation 



Entry requirements

To study AS/A Levels you will normally need: A minimum of 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above.



Paper 1 & 2

  • Any content from topics 1-4 including relevant practical skills;
  • Two written exams, each:1 hour 30 minutes - 75 marks
  • 65 marks: short answer questions
  • 10 marks: comprehension question
  • Each is 50% of AS


Paper 1 Any content from topics 1–4, including relevant practical skills

  • Written exam: 2 hours - 91 marks
  • 76 marks: a mixture of short and long answer questions
  • 15 marks: extended response questions 35% of

Paper 2 As above, except assessment cover topics 5-8

Paper 3 Any content from topics 1–8, including relevant practical skills

  • Written Exam: 2 hours - 78 marks
  • 38 marks: structured questions, including practical techniques
  • 15 marks: critical analysis of given experimental data
  • 25 marks: one essay from a choice of two titles 30% of A-level

Future opportunities

A good grade in A level Biology will prepare students for a wide range of courses, both at university and in the workplace. It is an excellent grounding for careers in Biomedical Sciences, Forensic Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Marine Biology, Biophysics, Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Education and many more.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 21 September 2016

Key information


  • More information
    • Larkmead School is part of the Abingdon 14-19 consortium. As we are part of a consortium, students have the opportunity to select a range of A-level subjects spread across the three Abingdon secondary schools. Each subject is taught by experienced staff with excellent results.


      In addition to academic study, Larkmead sixth form students engage in a Personal development curriculum as well as sessions based on study skills, culture and careers advice. Every student is offered individual advice and guidance about the next phase of their education whether that be university, apprenticeships or paid employment.


      During study periods, students are expected to study in either the designated sixth form area in the Learning Resource Centre or allocated study rooms. Between lessons, students can relax in the sixth-form common room which boasts a range of facilities.


      There is a well-structured enrolment and induction process for students wishing to join the sixth form, starting with a Consortium 16-19 Information Evening as well as a meeting for prospective students in November, followed by a meeting for prospective parents in March, and an induction day in the summer after the GCSE exams are finished. Once students have received their exam results in August, there are a number of enrolment clinic sessions to help students choose their courses and followed by a brief induction period before lessons commence.