Biology AS/A Level


Biology is the fastest growing and most popular Science. It has been at the forefront in protecting the environment and in the leading developments in agriculture and health.

The course allows students to see the impact of Biology on their daily lives and helps them make informed decisions as we move into the twenty first century. The course moves from the microscopic to the whole-planet view of living organisms. It touches on all the major biological disciplines with the emphasis on applied knowledge.

The EDEXCEL (Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology) course is an activities-based Internet-led approach to studying Biology, which has proved to be fun and interesting for all students. 

What goes well with this course?

  • Chemistry
  • Maths
  • Psychology



A Biology qualification can lead to a host of opportunities and not just in the medical field. Biotechnology is a fast expanding area that requires enthusiastic Biologists. Our fragile Earth needs Scientists to develop new technologies to ensure we can provide for future generations.

A Biology qualification is ideal for degree courses such as: Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Radiography, Physiotherapy, Nursing, Nutrition, Biotechnology, Biochemical Engineering, Biochemistry, Horticulture, Agriculture, Sports Science.

Course Content

AS qualification (duration 1 year)

AS is made up of 2 compulsory compo­nents: Lifestyles, Transport, Genes and Health and Development, Plants and the Environment

  • Component 1 - Lifestyles, Transport, Genes and Health
  • Component 2 - Development, Plants and the Environment

A Level qualification (duration 2 years)

A Level is made up of 4 compulsory theory components.

  • Component 1 - Lifestyles, Transport, Genes and Health
  • Component 2 - Development, Plants and the Environment
  • Component 3 - The Natural Environ­ment and Species Survival
  • Component 4 - Energy, Exercise and Co-ordination. 


Educational Experiences

Course Specific Trips, Visits & Experiences

The College runs a number of educational experiences each year to enable students to contextualise their learning. These experiences include trips and presenta­tions by visiting speakers.

It is expected that students will be engaged in study for at least 5 hours per week outside the classroom. As part of their studies all students take part in field­work with a residential fieldtrip (approxi­mate cost £300). 


The Biology course is 100% exam based, although the A Level requires a Scientific Practical Endorsement.

The AS qualification is made up of 2 examinations:

  • Lifestyles, Transport, Genes and Health worth 50% (1.5 hr written exam)
  • Development, Plants and the Environment worth 50% (1.5 hr written exam) both taken at the end of one year.

The A Level qualification is made up of 3 examinations: These three examinations are all taken at the end of the two year course.

  • The Natural Environment and Species Survival worth 33% (2 hr written exam) covering components 1,2 and 3.
  • Energy, Exercise and Co-ordination worth 33% (2hr written exam) covering components 1, 2 and 4.
  • Synoptic paper called General and Practical Appli­cations in Biology worth 33% (2hr written exam) covering all four theory compo­nents.

In addition, at A Level, a record is produced of the student’s observed practical skills as either Pass or Fail; this is recorded in the certificate but does not contribute to the overall grade.

The exam board for this A Level is Pearson Edexcel.

Entry Requirements

All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme. 

In addition, students should meet the following minimum combination of GCSE grades, either:  

  • Grade 6 in Maths, 5 in English Language and B in both Core and Additional Science, or
  • Grade 5 in Maths and English Language and either an A in both Core and Additional Science or A in Biology

Students will enjoy this course and be successful if they:

  • Have a genuine interest in the living world
  • Are committed and work hard
  • Enjoy researching new ideas
  • Have good problem solving and communication skills

Students should be good at problem solving and working with numbers.

How to Apply

Applications for entry September 2017

The application form for the academic year 2017-2018 is available to download here.

Students should return their completed forms directly to Coulsdon College, NOT their schools. All applications will be considered according to the College's Admissions Policy Admissions Policy.

Please see the Admissions timetable for information about the College’s enrolment process.

Download Course Leaflet

Download the AS/A Level in Biology information leaflet.

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