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AQA A Level Biology

Course Overview

Autumn and Spring terms:

  • Module 5 – Energy transfers between organisms. This module focuses on the fundamental processes of life: Photosynthesis & Respiration.
    Module 6 - Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments. This topic looks at communication, homeostasis, excretion, nerves and hormones.
    Module 7 - Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems. The foci of this topic are genetic variation and population biodiversity.
    Module 8 - The control of gene expression. Work will cover cellular control, manipulating genomes and cloning.

Summer term:

Final preparation for exams including concise scientific writing and exam technique.

Practical work: 

Practical work is assessed and carried out over the year in six additional required practical activities. This totals to 12 assessed practical activities over the two years. These contribute to a pass/fail practical endorsement and do not affect the final letter grade.


Half termly testing on recent and previous work.

Mock exam in exam conditions and final A level examination, following this format:

Paper 1 – 35%

  • Any content from modules 1 to 4 plus practical skills
  • 91 marks – 2 hours
  • 76 marks short and long answer questions and 15 marks: extended response questions

Paper 2 – 35% 

  • Any content from modules 5 to 8 plus practical skills
  • 91 marks – 2 hours
  • 76 marks short and long answer questions and 15 marks: comprehension question

Paper 3 – 30%

  • Any content from modules 5 to 8 plus practical skills
  • 78 marks – 2 hours
  • 38 marks: structured questions, including practical techniques
  • 15 marks: critical analysis of given experimental data
  • 25 marks: one essay from a choice of two titles



Useful Information:

This qualification is linear; students will sit all their exams at the end of their A-level course.

Entry requirements:

Grade 6 in Biology or Grade 6,6 in Combined Science.

Grade 6 in Mathematics

Grade 5 in English

Further opportunities

Progression to University or modern apprenticeship:

A-level Biology is a great choice for people who want a career in health and clinical professions, including Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Physiotherapy, Nursing and Forensic Science.

Many universities also offer biological science courses such as: Molecular Biology; Cell Biology; Biochemistry; Botany; Zoology; Parasitology; Marine science; Genetics; Immunology; Virology; Pharmacology; and many more.

Other employment opportunities:

Employers are looking for a science A level as an indication of analytical skills, so some Biology students choose careers in, for example, economics, business; the Civil Service; management and marketing.


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