Study option                                   Exam board                         Specification code

A Level two-year course             AQA                                                       7402

Why choose biology?

Studying biology will provide a unique appreciation of the world around you. Although a complex subject, here at HOHS small groups are taken at their own pace through modules covering structures of the human body, genetics, adaptation, disease and plant science. The course draws links with other sciences like chemistry but also complements a range of other subjects including the arts, where nature often rivals the best designers.

Studying biology at A Level is challenging. It is really important that you work steadily throughout the year, complete all assignments set and heed the advice you get as feedback from your teacher. However, you will enjoy the lessons (ask previous pupils). The atmosphere is relaxed yet purposeful, and you will grow in confidence as you acquire new skills. The emphasis is very much on a teacher/pupil partnership. We look forward to working with you.

Where can it lead?

Currently science is at the forefront of the media’s attention and, whilst biology is a requirement of a number of university degrees including those related to medicine, agriculture and animals science, it will support a number of other less science-focused careers.

What and how will I study?

You will cover a variety of interesting and challenging topics within your units, as follows:

The first year of A Level:

  1. Biological molecules
  2. Cells
  3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

 The second year of A Level:

  1. Energy transfers in and between organisms
  2. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  3. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  4. The control of gene expression

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is by three two-hour examinations. The kind of questions and weighting of marks varies from paper to paper and they include short- and long-answer questions, extended response, essay, comprehension and structured questions, including practical techniques.

Are there any specific entry requirements?

It is preferable that you have achieved at least a B in GCSE science and C in mathematics in order to study biology at A Level.