Biology - A Level

Examining Body:


Overview of the course:

AQA Biology AS/A Level – The course takes students into the molecular detail of biological substances and processes such as Photosynthesis, how your body turns DNA code into proteins like enzymes and how these enzymes work. The course also takes a wider view of processes such as ecological development and speciation. A full course summary can be found at

What Will You Study:

What will I study in Year 12?

Unit 1 – Biological Molecules

Carbohydrate, lipid and protein structure.

DNA structure.                                                                                                

The role of water and ions.

Unit 2 – Cells    

Cell structure and function.                                                                            


Immune recognition and response.

Unit 3 – Organisms and Exchange                                               

Gas exchange.                                                                                       

Digestion and absorption.                                                                          

Mass transport.

Unit 4 – Genes and Variation                                                           

DNA, genes and chromosomes.                                                                    

Protein synthesis.                                                                                          

Biodiversity and adaptations.

What will I study in Year 13?

Unit 5 – Energy Transfers of Organisms                                     

Photosynthesis and Respiration.                                                       

Nutrient Cycles.

Unit 6 – Response to the Environment                                         

Nervous Control.                                                                                


Unit 7– Genetics and Evolution                                                               

Inheritance and evolution.                                                               

Speciation and Ecosystems.

Unit 8—Control of Gene Expression                                             

Mutations, Cancer and Gene Therapy


AS Assessment: Two written papers

Paper 1 – Any content from units 1-4 (75 marks)

Paper 2 – Any content from units 1-4 (75 marks)

Each 1hour and 30 minutes long and is worth 50% of the AS

A2 Assessment: Three written papers                                      

Paper 1—Content from Units 1-4 (91 marks) 35% of A level

Paper 2—Content from units 5-8 (91 marks) 35% of A level

Paper 3—Content from units 1-8 (78 marks) 30% of A level  

Possible Career Paths:  

Students will require this A-level for courses such as medicine and veterinary. It is also fundamental for biomedical science, forensics or pharmaceutical science. The skills obtained are extremely favourable to employers if students wish to pursue employment following A levels across a wide range of industries including animal care.