Reasons to study this course

  • You are interested in the science of life and how organisms function and interact.
  • Biology affects everyone through medical science and scientific developments such as curing genetic diseases, developing drugs, fertility treatments and improving nutrition.
  • You want to study changes in the environment and how species are affected.

What you will need to study this course

  • minimum GCSE Grade 5 in GCSE Science, Maths and English Language

What you will study

Year 1 (AS) – biological molecules, cells, organisms exchange substances with their environment, genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms.

Year 2 (A-Level) – energy transfers in and between organisms, how organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments, genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems and the control of gene expression.

How you will be assessed

Year 1 (AS) – two 1.5-hour exams

Year 2 (A-Level) – three two-hour exams (including an essay)

Practical skills will be assessed throughout the course and in the written exams.

Progress will be monitored through assessments and progress tests.

Priestley Extra

Field trips and day trips, which may include Christmas lectures and practical workshops. You could enter the Royal Society of Biology Olympiad, have the chance to represent Priestley College in the Biology Challenge and get involved in college open events.


Wide range of career opportunities from Medicine, Veterinary Science, Environmental Health, Pharmacy, Sports Science, Animal Health and Psychology to Teaching and Television, Management and Marketing.

Recommended reading

‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ and ‘The Selfish Gene’, by Richard Dawkins.

‘Bad Science’ by Ben Goldacre.

‘Genome’ by Matt Ridley.

‘Nine Pints A Journey Through the Mysterious World of Blood’ by Rose George.

‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’ and ‘The Body’, both by Bill Bryson.

‘Gulp’ by Mary Roach.

Choosing Your Study Programme

What can you study ?
How does it all work ?

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