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Home » Courses » A Level Biology

A Level Biology

If you enjoy learning about living organisms and want to delve deeper into concepts such as biochemistry and cell biology through to behaviour and ecology, then A Level Biology will offer you an exciting, challenging and stimulating area of study with fantastic progression opportunities.

why choose this course?

A Level Biology at Truro and Penwith College is exciting, interesting, and challenging but with the guidance and support of subject specialist lecturers and a wealth of experience and passion for biology, you will have every opportunity to achieve your goals. A Level Biology is a great choice for anyone who wants to delve deeper into the topics covered in biology topics at GCSE study. It will give you the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of a wide range of biological topics and allow you to apply these topics to new contexts and to solve problems. You will also develop your practical skills, analytical skills, and reasoning.

A Level Biology encompasses the cellular basis of all living things, the transformation of energy that underlies the activities of life, and the genetic basis for inheritance in organisms. You will study the evolutionary relationships between organisms and the diversity of life on earth, to include microorganisms, plants, and animals. The structural and functional relationships studied in biology draw on the sciences of chemistry and physics for its foundations and applies the laws of these disciplines to living things. A Level Biology is designed for progression to HE in mind and is a facilitating subject which means that it is valued by a range of different degree courses as you develop many transferable skills.

Apply for this course

Start date: 09/09/2024

Course code
Level 3
Truro College
2 years
A Level


practical work focus


fantastic lab facilities

facilitating university subject

specialist tutors

Science TC 0004

Develop practical skills

Although you will be assessed on the practical endorsement in 12 required practicals, practical work is essential to helping you understand the theory you have studied so you will complete many practical tasks to develop your skills and understanding of the taught material.

Science TC 0009

Practical fieldwork experience

Practical fieldwork experience in which you will design your own practical investigation, carry out practical work in the field and then analyse and evaluate your data to draw conclusions- all essential skills for careers in this sector.

Science TC 0002

apply fundamental concepts

An exceptionally broad specification that allows you to apply fundamental concepts in biology to your area of interest and hopefully to discover new areas of interest to.

what will i learn?

You will study eight topics over the A Level course which will be assessed in three exams at the end of two years.


• Biological molecules
• Cells
• Organisms exchange substances with their environment
• Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
• Energy transfers in and between organisms
• Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
• Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
• The control of gene expression

In your first year of study, you will begin by gaining an understanding of the biological molecules which make up living things. This will enable you to understand how these molecules build up into cells, the fundamental unit of life. You will explore the ultrastructure of cells and learn the different roles of different parts of the cell, as well as how cells are organised in organisms and how they exchange substances with their environment and other cells. You will explore the need for specialised exchange surfaces and transport mechanisms in multicellular organisms including humans, fish, insects, and plants. You will also learn about the fundamental role of DNA, its role in protein synthesis and how it can be used to make sense of the great diversity of life on earth.

In your second year of study, you will build upon the concepts introduced in the first year to develop an understanding of the complex biochemistry of photosynthesis and respiration, and the detailed mechanisms of the nervous and endocrine systems. You will study the latest advances in genetic technologies and discover how genes are inherited and influence populations. You will also conduct your own ecological investigation.

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Biology opens up a wide range of opportunities for university level study. The skills you will develop are in high demand over a wide range of fields and students progress to a range of different careers, some closely related to biology such as medical or health related careers, clinical research, or pharmaceuticals, and some in other sectors such as business, finance, and marketing.

A Level Biology is a highly respected qualification that is designed to lead to Higher Education and is valued for most degree subjects, including but not limited to: medicine, nursing, dentistry, physiotherapy, veterinary science, zoology, radiography, agriculture and horticulture, marine biology, biochemistry, genetics, dietetics, nutrition, applied biology, botany, forensic science and many other possibilities.

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You will be assessed through end of topic tests under timed conditions in class, regular homework questions and through completion of class activities. You will then be given detailed feedback on your progress.

Investigative skills and understanding are a vital part of the scientific process and you will be expected to develop your practical proficiency throughout the course to pass the practical endorsement at the end of the two years.

You will sit formal A Level exams at the end of your two years of study, which will include questions on the practical skills that you have developed, comprehension questions, data analysis questions and essay style questions. A Level grades will be based only on marks for written exams, and your practical endorsement will be assessed separately as pass or fail.


A minimum of 5 GCSEs Grades 4 or above, including at least GCSE Biology Grade 6 or GCSE Combined Science Grades 66, GCSE English Grade 6 and GCSE Maths Grade 5.


You will be expected to undertake at least 4 – 6 hours of independent study time per week but we know that structuring this work can be challenging at first, you will be provided with weekly homework tasks and independent study guides to help you reach this goal. Throughout the two years you will be able to access additional support through revision sessions, dedicated workshops, as well as a variety of additional opportunities to stretch and challenge the most able students. We encourage you to proactively engage with the support available in order to reach your full potential. Our Moodle pages are full of course notes, additional resources, animations and links to useful resources to help support your learning.

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What you could earn

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Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


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