Biology has been added to My Courses


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Course specifics

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades C/4 or above (including English Language). Level 2 vocational qualifications (e.g. BTEC/OCR) must be a merit grade or above and only one will count as one GCSE equivalent
  • GCSE Biology 6 plus a 6 or above in either GCSE Chemistry or GCSE Physics
  • Or 6,6 for Combined Science awards
  • GCSE Maths at grade 6
  • If students have a Grade 5 in Mathematics will need to take Core Maths



Exam board: OCR

100%of students passed A-Level Biology. 43.2% of students gained an A*- B Grade at A-Level

Biology is the study of life, encompassing everything from molecules to ecosystems. Consequently the course offers a huge variety of topics and skills, including drawing microscope images, studying biochemical pathways through to examining the problems of human population growth. A good grade in the subject rewards students with the respect of future employers and a wealth of career opportunities. Biology is a challenging course; the best grades are achieved by students studying Biology with Chemistry, Maths or Physics. 



Course Overview

Biology is the study of living things. The scope of this course is immense ranging from the biochemical structure of molecules through human anatomy, the advance of DNA and genetics in medicine, to the conservation of endangered species.

Motor Neurone Models Made by Students

Motor Neurone Models Made by Students

A good grade in the subject rewards you with the respect of future employers and a wealth of career opportunities. A-level Biology is an excellent base for a university degree in healthcare, such as medicine, veterinary or dentistry, as well as the biological sciences, such as biochemistry and molecular biology.

It is strongly advised that you study A-level Biology alongside another Science A-level. Biology is a challenging course; the best grades are achieved by students studying Biology with Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

Your A-level choices are important, as certain combinations of subjects are required for university courses and careers. Visit this excellent website produced by Russell Group universities to help you make your choices. Click here.

Biology is studied over 2 years, with students examined in all aspects at the end of the course.

What are the benefits of studying A-level Biology?

The study of Biology is an interesting and challenging learning experience. Not only will it allow you to link key biological ideas, but it will also develop a number of transferable skills including investigative skills, problem-solving, research, decision making, mathematical skills and analytical skills.

We have a BioMed group to support students wishing to pursue careers using their biology.

A-level Biology Virtual Open Event Presentation

Course Content

Year One

  • Cell structure
  • Biological molecules
  • Nucleic acids
  • Enzymes
  • Biological membranes
  • Cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation
  • Exchange surfaces
  • Transport in animals and plants
  • Diseases and the immune system
  • Biodiversity
  • Classification and evolution

Year Two

  • Homeostasis
  • Excretion
  • Neuronal and hormonal communication
  • Plant and animal responses
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration
  • Cellular control
  • Patterns of inheritance
  • Manipulating genomes
  • Cloning and biotechnology
  • Ecosystems
  • Populations and sustainability

Methods of Teaching and Learning

Teachers employ a range of methods including investigations, demonstrations, working through examples, answering questions, directed reading, lecturing and researching. You will be expected to be self-motivated and take an active approach to your learning.

Additional support will be offered to those students who are not studying Maths and/or Chemistry A-level along with Biology.


You are encouraged to attend enrichment events; these have included masterclasses delivered by Biology undergraduates and lectures by professional scientists. Students have also taken part in the Royal United Hospital Sixth Form conference, the University of Bath STEM day, Bath University laboratory placements, Bath and Bristol University Summer Schools and the Access to Bristol course. Previous trips have included a trip to the Jenner Museum and WWT at Slimbridge, and fieldwork at Bath Spa and Aberystwyth universities.

Methods of Assessment

A-level Biology is entirely assessed by written examination at the end of the course. You will complete a range of practical activities; the knowledge and understanding of these will be assessed within the written exams. Practical skills will also be assessed by teacher observation in class for the A-level practical endorsement element of the qualification.


The Biology department has modern, well-equipped laboratories serviced by a team of Science Technicians. The majority of laboratories are equipped with computers for student use. In addition, you are able to use the College Learning Resources Centre together with extensive open-access computer suites.

Additional Costs

It is strongly recommended that students buy the course textbooks. Trips will incur a small cost for transport.


Students have progressed to university to study a wide range of courses including Animal Biology and Conservation, Biochemistry, Biology, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Cancer Biology, Dentistry, Forensic Science, Medicine, Microbiology, Midwifery, Nursing, Ophthalmology, Pharmacology, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Nursing.

Meet the Science teachers and students

Becoming a Biologist