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Have you ever wondered how your heart beats over 100,000 times each day? Or how your body makes more than one million red blood cells a second? What causes disease and how does a pathogen spread? Do you think about how humans are affecting ecosystems and the populations of organisms that live within them? If you do, then Biology might be the subject for you!

BiologyAQA Biology (7402)

If you would like to study the physiology and cell structure of living organisms, anatomy, inheritance and much more, then A Level Biology is for you.

A world-changing subject

Biology is at the forefront of current scientific research and is a very fast-changing subject with key discoveries made every year. Developments in molecular biology, bioinformatics and medicine allow these breakthroughs to happen and rely on a thorough understanding of Biology.

Future ambitions

Biology is not exclusively for scientists and may be successfully combined with languages, humanities and creative arts.  A-Level Biology contains a strong mathematical and chemical element and these subjects will provide you with an advantage in your studies.

A-Level will be an advantage for anyone seeking a career in medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, psychology, physiotherapy or nursing as well as in biological subjects such as biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, food science, agriculture, environmental science and other sciences.

Beyond the classroom 

As part of the course fieldwork is carried out locally at our own nature reserve. We also provide the opportunity for students to extend their studies by participating in the Intermediate and British Biology Olympiads. Wherever possible we draw upon our unique connections in Cambridge to organise talks by eminent speakers and trips to local institutions.

Course Content

  • Biological molecules
  • Cells
  • Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  • Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
  • Energy transfers in and between organisms
  • Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  • Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  • The control of gene expression


Three written papers

Paper 1: 2 hours; 91 marks; 35% of the overall grade

Short answer, long answer and extended response questions covering topics 1- 4 (including relevant practical skills)

Paper 2: 2 hours; 91 marks; 35% of  the overall grade

Short answer, long answer and extended response questions covering topics 5 - 8 (including relevant practical skills)

Paper 3: 2 hours; 78 marks; 30% of the overall grade

Structured questions, critical analysis of experimental data and one essay from a choice of two covering topics 1-8 (including relevant practical skills)

Practical endorsement

Performance in this component is reported as either a pass or ungraded. It is based on teacher observations, practical planning and the analysis of results generated.