Choosing your A levels

Biology

Introduction

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 living organisms and how and why they have evolved to have their structure and function. You will enjoy developing a detailed knowledge of the many diverse areas of biology and will take pleasure in finding links between topic areas and applying your knowledge. Biology is a practical subject and you will be keen to develop your 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/A in IGCSE Biology or 77/AA 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.

Biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose.

Richard Dawkins