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Biology AS & A Level at Bishop Douglass School

Course description

The course aims to promote awareness and an appreciation of the developments and significance of Biology in the personal, social, environmental, economic and technological contexts. It allows students to acquire many experimental and investigative skills. 

A suitable preparation is provided for higher education courses in the Biological Sciences and for the many professional courses which require students to have knowledge of Biology.

Course content

This is a two year course which comprises of ten Topics:

  • Topic 1: Biological molecules
  • Topic 2: Cells, viruses and reproduction of living things
  • Topic 3: Classification and Biodiversity
  • Topic 4: Exchange and Transport
  • Topic 5: Energy for biological processes
  • Topic 6: Microbiology and pathogens
  • Topic 7: Modern genetics
  • Topic 8: Origins of genetic variation
  • Topic 9: Control systems
  • Topic 10: Ecosystems

Entry requirements

Minimum of 5x GCSE A*-C including Maths and English with at least a Grade B in Additional Science or Triple Science.

It is strongly recommended that you achieve a Grade A before opting to take this course.


All of the examinations for this course take place in June.

AS Level

  • Paper 1 (8BIO/01) Core Cellular Biology and Microbiology
    Topics 1 and 2
    Written paper
    1hr 30 min
  • Paper 2 (8BIO/02) Core Physiology mad Ecology
    Topics 3 and 4
    Written paper
    1hr 30 min

No coursework, but minimum of 8 Core practicals appear in the specification content. Practical-based questions are also in the exams.

The 2 above exams take place in year 12 to provide a grade for an AS standalone qualification.

A Level

  • Paper 1 (9BIO/01) Advanced Biochemistry , Microbiology and genetics
    Topics 1 - 7
    Written Paper
    1hr 45 min
  • Paper 2 (9BIO/02) Energy, Exercise and Coordination
    Topics 1-4, 8-10
    Written Paper
    1hr 45 min
  • Paper 3 (9BIO/03) General and Practical Principles in Biology
    Written paper
  • Scientific Practical Endorsement (9BIO/04)
    Practical skills are assessed through a minimum of 12 identified practical activities. This is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Financial information

Field studies are emphasised and students are taken on a three-day residential field trip.

Future opportunities

A grounding in Biology can lead to many career possibilities, for example, medicine, environmental scientist, dentistry, police forensic work, genetic counselling, marine ecology, scientific journalism, conservation or veterinary science to name but a few.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 07 November 2016
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