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Saving threatened species, feeding people, GM organisms, curing diseases…the twenty-first century offers many challenges to a biologist.


New knowledge in areas such as genetics, molecular biology, biodiversity and ecology affects human society and the environment all over the planet. The world moves quickly – in order to move with it, and participate fully, people need to be ‘in the know’. The study of Biology gives the skills and opportunities to advance human knowledge and understanding in today’s world, in order to make a difference to tomorrow’s world.

Whether you decide to work in a laboratory, a field, an ocean, a zoo, a classroom, a TV studio or an industry (to name but a few), you can make a contribution as a Bioscientist. A background in Biology gives you transferable skills and increases your career options so that you can adapt to the world that is changing around you.

Special Features

AS and A Level in Biology encourages students to:

– recognise the value and responsible use of Biology in society;
– be aware of advances in technology, including information technology, relevant to Biology;
– develop an understanding of scientific method;
– develop essential knowledge and understanding of concepts of Biology, and the skills needed for the use of these in new and changing situations;
– show knowledge and understanding of facts, principles and concepts from different areas of Biology and to make and use connections between them;
– sustain and develop their enjoyment of, and interest in, Biology.

Entry - Please refer to The John of Gaunt entry requirements.

Attendance - One year to AS plus one further year to complete the full A Level.

Assessment - One year to AS plus one further year to complete the full A Level.

By following this link, you can see the specification on the exam board website:






Biological molecules

2 x 1 hour 30 minutes written exam covering any content from topics 1-4 including practical skills


There are loads of different types of biological molecules that make up all cells and organisms, such as carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins and lipids etc. this topic is all about the biological molecules



75 marks each paper

This topic explores eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell structure, cell division, the movement of substances across cell membranes and the immune system.


Organisms exchange substances with their environment

Paper one: 65 marks short answers, 10 marks comprehension

Every organism has substances it needs to take in and others it needs to remove in order to survive. In this topic you will learn about a range of exchange and transport systems, from looking at gas exchange in humans to transport in plants.


Genetic information , variation and relationships between organisms

Paper two: 65 marks short answers, 10 marks extended response


What actually is DNA? How does it code for characteristics? How does genetic variation come about? This topic will answer a lot of the big questions linked to genetics and build on your GCSE knowledge.

A level only


Energy transfer in and between organisms

3 x 2 hour written exams

Paper one:  Content from topics 1-4

91 marks, 35% of A level, 76 marks short and long answers, 15 marks extended response

This will include learning about the biochemical processes in photosynthesis and respiration.  You will investigate the efficiency of energy transfer and the organisms and processes involved in this transfer



Moving on

Biology leads to a wide range of courses and careers, including:

  • An undergraduate degree in Life Sciences , medicine, Environmental Science, Forensic Science and related courses or a BTEC Higher National (HNC or HND)
  • Employment; for example, in areas of Biological Testing, Biotechnology, independent research and the food industry.