Why choose A Level Biology?

Students will be expected to have met St Paul’s entry requirements of 2 Grade 5’s and 4 Grade 4’s. A minimum of grade 4 in English and Maths is essential for all courses.

A Level Biology has an additional entry requirement of a minimum of grade 6 in Biology or 6/6 in Double Science and a minimum of grade 5 in Maths. Where students do not meet grade criteria, individual cases will be discussed on results day.

These qualifications are linear. Linear means that students will sit all the exams at the end of their 2-year course.
There are 8 topics covered over 2 years of study. All classes have 5 lessons a week split between two of the A Level Biology teachers.

Subject content Year 12

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

Subject content Year 13

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


Practical work is at the heart of biology. There are 12 assessed practical activities that must be carried out by all students taking this course. Written papers will assess knowledge and understanding of these practical activities, and the skills exemplified within each practical. Pupils will receive a Pass / Fail for the satisfactory completion of all 12 practicals.

Asessment Board: AQA (Specification 7402)

Paper 1 Topics 1-4 including relevant practical skills 2 hours 35% of final mark
Paper 2 Topics 5-8 including relevant practical skills 2 hours 35% of final mark
Paper 3 Topics 1-8 including relevant practical skills 2 hours 30% of final mark

All examination papers will contain a mixture of short and long answer questions, extended response and comprehension question. Paper 3 includes a short synoptic essay of 25 marks.

A-level Biology, often in conjunction with other science-based subjects, provides an excellent foundation for higher education in a range of subjects which leads to the following types of degree courses Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry, Dentistry, Dietetics, Earth Sciences, Environmental science, Forensic Science, Geology and more.

A Level Biology is a particularly good choice for people who want to pursue a future career in health and clinical professions, research and development, forensics, intellectual property and patent law and media and journalism and many more.

For further information, please contact:

Mr Cockcroft (ncockcroft@st-pauls.leicester.sch.uk) or

Mrs Shakespeare (jshakespeare@st-pauls.leicester.sch.uk)