Head of Biology: Dr R Jones, PhD Aberdeen


A Level

Biologists are scientists who study the natural world and all the living things in it, from the largest mammals to the structure and function of DNA. They try to understand how animals and organisms work, how we evolved and the things that can make us sick or improve our health. Biologists use this knowledge to try to stop the spread of disease, track down natural resources, improve public health, animal care and conservation and to work out the true impacts of pollution. Biologists work with new cutting edge technologies including genetic engineering and gene therapy. Biology is a great subject choice for students who want a career in health and clinical professions such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, physiotherapy, pharmacy, optometry, nursing, zoology, marine biology or forensic science. It is also an excellent subject to choose to provide a balanced selection of courses with links to Psychology, PE, Food Technology or as a stand-alone science.

Course Content
The course is divided into ten topics:
Topic 1: Biological Molecules
Topic 2: Cells, Viruses and Reproduction of Living Things
Topic 3: Classification and Biodiversity
Topic 4: Exchange and Transport
Topic 5: Energy for Biological Processes
Topic 6: Microbiology and Pathogens
Topic 7: Modern Genetics
Topic 8: Origins of Genetic Variation
Topic 9: Control Systems
Topic 10: Ecosystems

A variety of different practical tasks will be carried out during the course, and will count towards the practical endorsement in Biology.

You will have the opportunity to attend a residential field trip in Year 12, where you will study the ecology section and fulfill some of the practical requirements of the specification.


A level Biology is taught over two years and is examined at the end of year 13.
Assessment is by written exam:
• Advanced Biochemistry, Microbiology and Genetics (01) – 30%
• Advanced Physiology, Evolution and Ecology (02) – 30%
• General and Practical Principles in Biology (03) – 40%
Science Practical Endorsement (04) – This will be assessed internally and reported separately. It does not contribute to the final A Level grade.