This subject will provide you with great respect for all living things.

It introduces you to exciting new advances being made in modern Biology, including environmental issues, the influence of genes on our development, and some of the ethical and technological aspects of the subject.

This practical subject will develop your experimental skills and understanding of how to plan, analyse and evaluate experimental procedures.

You will develop your mathematical skills to analyse data and develop your English skills to enable you to use specialist scientific terminology correctly.

A separate certificate will be awarded if you pass your practical endorsement.

There is an opportunity to participate in the Biology Olympiad competition and/or to develop further practical skills in the ‘Lab Rats’ enrichment which includes a full rat dissection.

We also offer a field trip to Braunton Burrows to study sand dune succession.


Year 1 topics

  • Cell structure
  • Biological molecules
  • DNA and cell division
  • Enzymes
  • Gas exchange
  • Transport in plant & animals
  • Communicable diseases
  • Disease prevention & the immune system
  • Biodiversity
  • Classification
  • Evolution.

Year 2 topics

  • Homeostasis
  • Excretion
  • Nervous and hormonal communication
  • Plant & animal responses
  • Ecosystems
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration
  • Cloning
  • Biotechnology
  • Manipulating genomes.

As a minimum, you will need (or equivalent to);

  • GCSE Mathematics grade 6
  • GCSE English Language or Literature grade 5
  • GCSE Biology/Double Science grade 6
  • plus two more GCSEs at grade 4.

It is not recommended to combine this subject with Applied Science, as the courses contain similar content.

There are three written exams.

Two of these are 2 hours and 15 minutes, whilst the third is 1 hour and 30 minutes long.

The practical endorsement is awarded based on laboratory skills observed during practical lessons and written evidence recorded within a lab book.

Biology provides routes into many career areas including Medicine, Veterinary Science, Health Care, Forensics, Pharmacy, Food Science, Marine Biology, Conservation and Sports Science.

Is there much practical work?

Yes! As much as possible.

We offer a wide range of practicals to consolidate your learnt theory, and this helps our students to perform particularly well in exam questions based on practicals.