Biology is the branch of science concerned with the study of living organisms. Within Biology there are different and diverse fields of study, for example: biochemistry, cell biology, ecology, anatomy, physiology, botany, microbiology and genetics.

Board and specification code

BIOLOGY AQA Specification code 7402

Is Biology for you?

Biology is for students who are curious about the complexities of all living organisms; from single-celled species to more complex multicellular plants and animals. They enjoy developing a detailed knowledge of the many diverse areas of biology and take pleasure in finding links between topic areas. Successful Biology candidates have a proactive and independent approach to study to ensure their knowledge is complete. They remember and act upon advice given to develop their own understanding of the course content and how to approach a variety of examination question styles. Practical work is an integral part of the course that develops laboratory skills by using a variety of apparatus and techniques.

Course content/components

  • Paper 1: Molecules, cells, biodiversity, exchange and transport (35%).
  • Paper 2: Energy transfer, genetics, populations, response to stimuli (35%).
  • Paper 3: All content, all practical techniques and an essay (30%).

At least 15% of the marks will examine practical techniques and 10% of the marks will examine mathematical skills (Higher tier GCSE standard).

Recommended entry requirement

At least Grade 7 in IGCSE Biology or 77 in Double Award Science

Post-A Level options

Students can continue with their study of Biology by taking a degree in biological sciences, or can become more specialised for example, with a degree in biochemistry, zoology, natural sciences or psychology. Biology is also required for many medicine, veterinary medicine and dentistry courses.