Exam Board: AQA


The aims of the course are as follows:

  • Develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject of Biology and how they relate to each other.
  • Develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods.
  • Develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills.
  • Develop students’ interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject.
  • Understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.

Entry Requirements

Students should have Grade 7 or higher in GCSE Biology/Science, or the equivalent grade/mark in their national system of secondary education and Grade 5 or higher in GCSE Maths and English or the equivalent grade/mark in their national system of secondary education.

Course Structure

Year 1

  • Biological Molecules.
  • Cells.
  • Organisms Exchange Substances with their Environment.
  • Genetic Information, Variation and Relationships between Organisms.

Year 2

Same as for Year 1, plus:

  • Energy Transfer In and Between Organisms.
  • Organisms Respond to Changes in their Environments.
  • Genetics, Populations, Evolution and Ecosystems.
  • The Control of Gene Expression.


  • Paper 1 – Written exam of 2 hours (Units 1-4).
  • Paper 2 – Written exam of 2 hours (Units 5-8).
  • Paper 3 – Written exam of 2 hours (Units 1-8 and an essay).
  • Practical Assessment (Pass/Fail).

Core Text

AQA A Level Biology 2nd Edition – Oxford – Toole & Toole

Careers and Opportunities

Biology is a very versatile A Level, giving a grounding that will allow students of the discipline not only access to Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary pursuits, but also provide the skills required to attend disciplines in the other sciences, and mathematical skills and English skills to take up careers outside of the sciences.