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Biology

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What our students say

"I chose to study biology because I really liked the biology part of GCSE combined science, so I thought taking biology at A-level would go over the topics I liked at GCSE (e.g. Immunology) in greater detail. 

One of the best things about biology is that it covers a wide range of topics, including plants, insects and human biology, so at least one topic will grab your attention. 

This subject has taught me lots of transferable skills, such data handling and practical skills. These are very useful considering I want to study medicine or biomedicine next year."

Irene C.

EXAM BOARD: AQA

Biology involves studying a wide range of exciting topics that have a profound impact on our daily lives including our health and ecological concerns.  Stem cell research, genetic modification, gene therapy, DNA technology and new medicines are all increasingly important to our lives.  By studying A Level Biology, you will gain a scientific understanding of the structure and function of living organisms and the application of this knowledge in the 21st century. The A Level course will build on concepts and skills that have been developed in the GCSE Science specifications. It presents Biology as a relevant, challenging and rapidly developing subject which is never far from the news.

The A Level course includes eight topics for study, four in each year.

1.      Biological molecules

2.      Cells

3.      Organisms exchange substances with their environment

4.      Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

5.      Energy transfers in and between organisms

6.      Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments

7.      Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems

8.      The control of gene expression

Biology is fundamentally an experimental subject and there will be numerous opportunities to use practical skills to link theory to reality.  These skills will be assessed on the written papers and a minimum of 12 practical activities.  A range of extra-curricular opportunities are available for students who wish to extend their understanding further including BioSoc and Operating Theatre Live. Some of these activities are free, but all of them have value to your biological education.

Who should consider Biology?

Those who are looking towards the wide range of Biology related higher education courses including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Agriculture, Biochemistry, Environmental Science, Food Science, Forensic Science, Nursing, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Plant Sciences and Zoology.

Subjects that are often studied with Biology include Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Geography and Psychology. It is highly recommended that you consider complementing your Biology studies with one or more of these subjects.

Please note:

  • A significant proportion of the course is Biochemistry.
  • Many Biological Science departments at university require A Level Chemistry to support further study. 
  • 10% of the exam marks will be for mathematical skills.
  • A strong pass, or better, in GCSE English is recommended given the nature of the written material in the course.

Entry requirements

Grade 666 (or higher) in GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics.

Alternatively, Grade 6-6 (or higher) in GCSE Science

Grade 6 (or higher) in GCSE Maths.

Contact  Mr Koe, Head of Biology, koet@rugbyhighschool.co.uk