Print Friendly, PDF & Email
DNA with text A Level biology and ED6 100% Pass Rate Graphic

A Level Biology

Course Level: 

Level 3

Job opportunities after this course: 

There exists a wide variety of higher education options that are related to biology. For example, Biology A level can support entry into: medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, pharmacy, physiotherapy, radiography, occupational therapy, all branches of nursing, psychology, biomedical sciences, environmental science, ecology, genetics and scientific research.

Overview of the course: 

Awarding Body - AQA

Students will take the AS exams at the end of year one and A level exams at the end of year 2.

AS involves 2 exams with questions drawn from topics 1-4 below as well as practical skills

A2 Involves 3 exams with the first involving questions from topics 1-4 , the second and third covering all topics 1-8. This also involves practical skills

Entry requirements: 

For A level Biology you will need to have Grade 6 or above in GCSE Biology (triple award) or 6, 6 from Dual Award Science.

For a 3 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of five Grade 9-4 passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics.

For a 4 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of six Grade 9-4 passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics; it is expected that the majority of passes will be at 9-7 grade.
Entry onto any course at East Durham College is subject to final approval from the Assistant Principal. Where relevant, the term ‘entry requirements’ also includes DBS checks, references, fitness to practice, etc.


1. Biological molecules - the basic chemistry of living organisms, necessary knowledge for all further study of Biology.

2. Cells - the ultrastructure of cells as seen by electron microscopy; practical light microscopy.

3. Organisms - exchange substances with their environment; gas exchange, circulation and digestion.

4. Genetics - genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms. The study of DNA and RNA, mitosis and meiosis.

5. Energy - energy transfers in and between organisms (A-level only);
Photosynthesis, Respiration and ecosystems.

6. Organisms respond to changes – responses to internal and external environmental changes (A-level only); homeostasis, the nervous and hormonal systems.

7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems (A-level only) -
Inheritance of characteristics. Evolution and speciation.

8. The control of gene expression (A-level only) - DNA technology.

How is the course assessed?: 

AS- Unit 1 , 1hr exam; Unit 2 1hr 45min exam; Unit 3 internally assessed practical exams.
A2 Unit 4 1 hr exam; Unit 5 1hr 45 min exam; Unit 6 internally assessed practical exams.

Further study options after this course: 

University to study a Biology related degree. Physiotherapy, Nursing, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Paramedic.

Length of the course: 

2 Years, Full Time.


Peterlee Campus

When does the course start: 

September 2019

More important information about this course:


*We make every effort to publish correct fees, however all fees are subject to change. Fees are correct as at the current time (24 Jun 2019 15:09) and are subject to change up to the date of enrolment. Fees quoted are payable annually

What our students say: 

We regularly work with QDP, the UK’s largest independent provider of questionnaire based feedback services to the education sector, so that any results can be benchmarked against other colleges and the voices of over 600,000 learners QDP gathers feedback from over the course of an academic year.

Our feedback scores consistently place us in the top quartile of colleges in the country, indicating that we not only meet but often exceed student expectations. Some results from the 2015/2016 on programme and exit surveys and the 2016/17 induction survey can be seen below.

98% stated it was easy to apply for the course
96% said the teaching on my course is good
99% felt that their teacher knows their subject well
97% told us they felt safe at college
98% said expected standards of behaviour were made clear
95% told us they felt they had developed the skills they needed to get a job/take their next step
95% agreed the teachers consistently challenge them to do their best
97% said teacher feedback told them what was going well and where to improve
Other comments by students on this course are:

The following information comes from Career Explorer, an online tool designed to help you research your education and career options. Here you will find information on jobs right here in the region, including links to actual job vacancies, potential earnings and our courses that can help you achieve an outstanding future. Click here to explore Career Explorer further..

How to apply: 

To apply online for this course, please click on the 'Apply for this course' button below.
Alternatively, if you need assistance with your application or you would like to apply over the phone or using a paper-based application form, please call Student Services on 0191 518 8222.

Apply for this course

If you're not quite ready to apply for this course and would like some more information or to speak to a member of staff then send us an enquiry.

Enquire about this course