Advanced Level Biology

Biology continues to be a very popular choice in year 12 and 13 and inspires many students to take up related courses at university, as well as enabling those aiming for medicine and vetinary courses to achieve these aspirations.

  • The AQA course enables students to gain a thorough understanding of biology from the molecular level to the ecosystem level.
  • There is a strong emphasis on developing good scientific thinking skills in planning investigations, analysing data and evaluating biological studies.
  • Practical work plays an important part in the course, including 12 essential practical tasks directed by the exam board, as well as others integrated into the lessons.
  • The course encourages students to develop their maths skills as they apply mathematical techniques to biological problems.

Students are formally assessed by AQA at the end of 2 years of studying through 3 exam papers. Practical skills are tested within these papers, with no distinct coursework or assessed practical exam.


The biology department regularly give internal progress tests and exams to ensure that students have a clear idea of their current progress. Guidance for students and support in improving is a key part of this process.


The specification can be found here

and includes molecular biology, human and animal physiology, study of organisms in their environment and genetics.


Grades achieved by students are consistently good, with value-added grades in the top 25% nationally according to ALPS. Last year 33% of students achieved A* or A; 50% achieved A*- B; and 95% achieved A* – E.