AS Biology


Entry Guidance
AS Biology is for students with a keen interest in Biology. Students will need a B grade or higher in IGCSE Biology or a comparable course. Students who have not studied Biology before will be carefully considered on their individual merits. If accepted onto the Biology course these students will be expected to complete extra work in order to gain knowledge of any content that is not known.

What the course leads
to A-Level Biology is designed to develop students’ enthusiasm for biology as well as to develop practical skills alongside an understanding of biological concepts and principles. It gives access to a large range of university courses or majors, such as Medicine, General Science, Biochemistry, Genetics, Forensic Science, Psychology and Environmental Science. In addition, A-Level Biology provides an understanding of the scientific method, which is fundamental to the Philosophy of Science.

Course Aims
This course aims to:

  • Provide a good foundation for future study of Biological Sciences
  • Enable students to understand both macro and micro-organisms and their structures
  • Develop laboratory and practical skills
  • Develop effective communication using universal scientific conventions through discussion and presentations
  • Develop a concern for accuracy and precision, objectivity and initiative
  • Stimulate interest in, and care for, the  local and global environment
  • Enable students to become confident citizens in a technological world and to apply the scientific method in everyday life


Course Content
AS Biology candidates will study and be assessed on the following eleven sections:

  • Cell structure
  • Biological molecules
  • Enzymes
  • Cell membranes and transport
  • The mitotic cell cycle
  • Nucleic acids and protein synthesis
  • Transport in plants
  • Transport in mammals
  • Gas exchange and smoking
  • Infectious disease
  • Immunity

Course Assessment
In May/June, students will sit an externally assessed examination, consisting of three papers:

  • Paper 1 is a multiple-choice paper worth 31% of the AS Level
  • Paper 2 is a structured question paper worth 46% of the AS Level
  • Paper 3 is a practical paper worth 23% of the AS Level

Opportunities for Enrichment
Students are encouraged to complete Extended Projects in Biology and to engage in studying Biology beyond the classroom. Current CCAs offered that relate to Biology include a gardening club.