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Biology AS/A2 Level at Deyes High School

Course description

AS Biology takes over where GCSE finished. There is some overlap between the two but you will study each topic in much more detail. At both AS and A2 you will study two units and develop your practical skills.

Course content

The content learned in this first year develops the principles of Biology that underpin all successive learning.

It includes: The chemical structure of biological molecules, the ultrastructure of cells as seen with an electron microscope, how materials are transported into and out of the cell, enzymes and their application, cell division, the structure and function of nucleic acids (DNA), classification of different organisms and how different systems have evolved in different group of organisms, adaptations for reproduction, adaptations for transport of materials in plants and animals, adaptations for respiration and photosynthesis, adaptations for obtaining nutrition, the biochemistry of respiration and photosynthesis, microbiology, factors that affect the size of a population, homeostasis and the kidney, the nervous system, speciation and variation, sexual reproduction in plants and animals, inheritance, applications of reproduction, ecology and ecosystems, the effect of human activities.

Entry requirements

You will need to have at least a grade B in Additional Science or GCSE Biology; Mathematics and English. Scientific literacy is an important feature in A level Biology. Your ability to construct scientifically accurate sentences is crucial for success at the highest grades.


The AS is assessed with two written papers 1hour 30 minutes each at the end of year 12. These are worth 40% of the AS each; 20 % of the whole course. Each paper contains 6 or 7 questions made up of several sub questions worth 1 to 5 marks. The final question is a 10 mark question but there is a choice about which question you wish to answer.

There is a practical exam to complete which takes the form of a detailed plan from a basic method that is provided; the collection, presentation and analysis of the results and a suggestion for further work. A biological drawing of a specimen under a microscope is also required.

The format for A2 is similar to AS, except that there are more marks available for each of the examinations. The questions are based on the content of the A2 units but could require some synoptic information from any part of the course.

Future opportunities

Biology A level can literally take you anywhere as it covers such a huge range of factors related to organisms and their environment.

There are many university courses linked directly to Biology such as Medicine; Dentistry and Veterinary Science; Nursing; Physiotherapy; Sports Science; Environmental and Ecological Studies. There are a number of other degree courses and careers that Biology will also be useful for.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 01 June 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years