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Holmer Green Senior School

Holmer Green Senior School

Biology - A Level

Biology literally means the study of life and if that’s not important, what is?  Being such a broad topic, you’re bound to find a specific area of interest, plus it opens the door to a fantastic range of interesting careers.

A Level Biology gives you essential information and understanding on key biological concepts, and inspires their application to the world at large, as well as in the lab.  Students will also consider the moral, social, and cultural issues surrounding some of the applications of biology. An emphasis on the development of communication and study skills will help prepare  students for involvement in everyday scientific issues and give skills essential in the world of work. A Level Biology, although a challenging subject, is rightly recognised for its academic achievement by both employees and higher education establishments.

Course content

Biological molecules; Cells; Organisms and the environment; Genetics and diversity; Energy and biological systems; Organisms response to their environment; Genetics and Evolution; Genetic technology.

Practical work runs throughout the course; minimum 12 required practicals

On consultation it is possible to study a 1 year AS-level in Biology, completing topics 1-4 only


Exam Board: AQA

A Level

A linear course with all exams taken at the end of  Year 13

Paper 1: Topics 1 - 4, including relevant practical skills (35%, 2 hours)

Paper 2: Topics 5 – 8, including relevant practical skills  (35%, 2 hours)

Paper 3: Topics 1 - 8, including relevant practical skills, plus critical analysis of given experimental data and a 25 mark synoptic essay (30%, 2 hours)

Students will be examined internally at the end of Year 12

AS Level

All exams taken at the end of Year 12

Paper 1:  10 marks: comprehension question (50%, 1 hour 30 minutes)

Paper 2:  10 marks, extended response questions (50%, 1 hour 30 minutes)

Papers 1 and 2: Topics 1–4, including relevant practical  skills, 65 marks, short answer questions

Pass/Fail Practical endorsement for Biology – this is continuous throughout Y12 and Y13 and is teacher assessed.

Head of Subject:  Dr S Cockbill

Entry Requirements:

Grade 6 in Biology GCSE or a 6-6 in Combined Science. In addition, grade 5 in English Lit or Lang and grade 5 in Maths.  

Are you interested in: developing biological concepts, using microscopes, dissecting animal and plant systems, learning laboratory techniques, fieldwork, investigating animal behaviours, applying biological principles to personal, social, environmental and economic issues?

Leading to a career in: Medicine, Veterinary fields and Pharmacy, Biomedical sciences, Forensics, Agriculture and Animal care, Food technology, Health and Social care, Research, Epidemiology

This subject goes well with: Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Psychology, Geography, PE, Art 

Student Views

“I like studying Biology because it teaches me how everything works in life.”