Biology a-level Description What does biology a-level cover?

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Biology A-level Description
What does biology A-level cover?
Biology is the study of living organisms, including their structure, functioning, evolution, distribution and inter-relationships.

Biology A-level is relevant to the fields of science, engineering and medicine, but also to the areas of commerce and public service in which problem solving and practical skills are valued.

The Course Content





Cell ultra structure

Principles of exchange & transport

Homeostasis & excretion


Movement in and out of cells

Transport in plants

Coordination and control in animals (the nervous system)

DNA as the genetic code

Continuity of cells(mitosis & meiosis)

Circulatory System

Coordination and control in plants

Genes and patterns of inheritance

Molecules (biochemistry)

Gas exchange


Mechanism of change (population genetics)


Adaptations of organisms




Ecological energetics

Photosynthesis (in detail)


Biodiversity: The variety of Life

Pollution & conservation

Respiration (in detail)

Tissues & organs

Human impact on biodiversity

Gene technology

Classification of plants and animals

Examinations and Assessment of practical skills
AS:1 and 2 exams are sat in June, last 1.5 hours each and are worth 30% of A-level (15% each)

AS:3 is worth 10% and consists of a 1 hour practical exam and writing up a practical lab book.
A2:1 and 2 modules are sat in May, after 2 years, last 2 hours and 15 minutes each and are worth 48% (24% each) of the entire A-level.

A2: 3 is worth 12% and consists of a 1 hour 15 minute practical exam and a practical lab book.
Skills required for AS and A2 biology

  • You need good maths ability, especially for the statistics section of A2.

  • There is an essay component to each exam so good skills in literacy are required.

  • Students produce a lab book of experiment write ups at AS level and at A2 level, so good practical and written skills are required.

  • We are studying biology, not just human biology, so expect to study about plants and the environment.

  • Most students find GCSE biology quite easy, but they find A-level biology very demanding and challenging as there is a huge leap in knowledge and understanding.

Below is a link to the full specification on the CCEA web site

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