Accessibility links

Biology A level at Beechwood School

Course description

Biology involves the study of a wide range of exciting topics, ranging from Molecular Biology to the study of ecosystems and from microorganisms to mammoths. Biology is never far from the headlines either. The human genome has been sequenced and we know the complete arrangement of the three thousand million bases that make up human DNA. In Kenya 350 people die every day from AIDS and in South East Asia the skies are dark with smoke as the last Bornean rainforests are burned to grow oil palms. Biologists are concerned with all these issues. They work in the fields of cell Biology, medicine, food production and ecology... and the work they do is vital to us all.

Entry requirements

AS paper 1

1 hour and 30 minutes 50% weighting 80 marks

  • Biological molecules
  • Cells, viruses and reproduction of living things
  • Experimental methods (including questions on core practicals)

AS paper 2

1 hour and 30 minutes 50% weighting 80 marks

  • Classification and biodiversity
  • Exchange and transport
  • Experimental methods (including questions on core practicals)

A level paper 1

30% weighting 90 marks covers half the A level topics and some AS content

  • Energy for biological processes
  • Microbiology and pathogens
  • Modern genetics

A level paper 2

30% weighting 90 marks covers half the A level topics and some AS content

  • Origins of genetic variation
  • Control systems
  • Ecosystems

A level paper 3

40% weighting 120 marks covers all A level and AS content

  • General paper assessing topics across the AS and A level qualifications
  • Experimental methods (including questions on core practicals)

Practical assessment

  • There are 16 core practicals that cover all of the 12 techniques required for the practical competency measure.
  • Knowledge of all core practicals can be tested within exam papers.
  • Core practicals form part of the practical competency assessment.


A level is 100% externally assessed (no coursework) Core practicals appear in the specification content; practical-based questions are also in the exams. Teacher-assessed practical competency, based on core practical activities, reported alongside the A level grade.

Future opportunities

Biology leads on to a wide range of courses and careers. This could include: an undergraduate degree in Life Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Environmental Science, Forensic Science and related courses.

Employment possibilities are in the areas of biological testing, biotechnology, independent research, careers within the medical field, the food industry and sports and fitness.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 09 September 2016
Provider logo

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years