Biology A Level

Science and Mathematics

Science and Mathematics
Science and Mathematics
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What will you be working towards?

Code HGS3
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


BIOLOGY Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology A (9BN0)


Examining Board: Edexcel Teacher in charge of Biology: Mrs Brunsdon


Salters Nuffield Advanced Biology (SNAB) aims to turn A-Level students into mature and effective biologists. SNAB presents the key concepts underpinning biology today, combined with a structured approach to learning the wider skills needed by the modern biologist.


The course is not lead in traditional themes but offers a context approach instead. Topics are based on a story line or contemporary issue with biological principles introduced when required to aid understanding of the context. The context lead approach encourages students to recognise links between different areas of biology. The SNAB course encourages students to engage in activities integrated throughout the course. Some examples of these activities include: practical work, debates, discussions, research and role play. This approach employs a wide range of teaching & learning styles.


The topics studied in Year 12 consist of:

Topic 1: Lifestyle, Health and Risk: Circulatory system, importance of lifestyle choices to health

Topic 2: Genes and Health: Cystic fibrosis: how it is inherited and how it affects the body

Topic 3: Voice of the genome: Development of multicellular organisms from single cells

Topic 4: Biodiversity and natural resources: The biodiversity and wealth of resources used by humans


The topics studied in Year 13 consist of:

Topic 5: On the wild side: Photosynthesis and ecosystems

Topic 6: Immunity, Infection and forensics: Determining cause of death, bacteria and viruses and how the body responds to them

Topic 7: Run for your life: Physiological adaptations to undertake strenuous exercise, including respiration

Topic 8: Grey matter: The complete nervous system and how neurological conditions can be treated

The assessment consists of 3 written examinations each of equal weighting at the end of the course:

Paper 1: 2 hour examination Assesses topics 1,2,3,4,5,6, relevant mathematical skills and experimental methods

Paper 2: 2 hour examination Assesses topics 1,2,3,4,7,8, relevant mathematical skills and experimental methods

Paper 3: 2 hour examination Assesses all work undertaken throughout the A level course and includes questions based on a pre-released article and will ask questions requiring application from several topics, relevant mathematical skills and experimental methods.

Science practical endorsement Practical competency must be demonstrated in a series of core practicals throughout the course and reported to the examination board. This is assessed as a pass or fail.


An enjoyment of the subject is essential; this will aid your motivation valuably as the level of difficulty increases. Further information about the course, its content and links to other resources can be found at:


Possible career choices that require A-level biology include: biological testing, biotechnology, independent research, food industry jobs, nutrition, medicine, veterinarian, zoologist, animal care, scientist, amongst a huge range of others. In fact, having an A-level in biology will put you in great stead for a huge range of careers, as it is a great qualification to have.


How will it be delivered?

Entry requirements

Entry Criteria: GCSE grade 6 in Biology or Combined Science (Trilogy). In addition, you must have scored a grade 7 in either of the Biology papers.

GCSE grade 5 in English (Language or Literature) and GCSE grade 5 in Mathematics

Your next steps...

You could take this course with other advanced level courses, which overlap with Biology such as Chemistry, Applied Science, Physics, Geography, Geology or more general subjects that may not relate to the sciences, to prepare for higher education. With further training, you could go into a job related to Biology or one of the other sciences such as a Doctor, Nurse, Scientist or Marine Biologist. The course will also help you to develop the basic skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for.