Course overview

Biology A Level City of Bristol College

Biology is all around us. It is the study of living things: the diversity of life, the structure and function of living organisms and their interactions with the natural environment.

This course is an option within our science A Level pathway.

  • Science Pathway course code: ALSCIENCE

Find out more about our A Level pathways and how to apply

Additional information

Who is this course for?

This course is for 16-18 years olds with a passion for asking questions about why or how things in the living world happen. This course is all about seeking and gaining deep knowledge about the living things in the world around us. Scientists do this by looking for patterns, developing theories and testing their validity using a variety of experimental procedures and logical thought.

What you'll learn

Like all sciences, biology involves testing ideas through planning, implementing and evaluating experimental evidence. This course will give you deep and well-informed insight into biology and the scientific theory and processes that control and affect it.

Topics of study include cells and microscopy, biodiversity, photosynthesis, nervous systems, variation in genetics and many more.

Course entry requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above, including both Maths and English.

Grade 7/7 in Combined Science & Grade 6 in English or Maths Or Grade 6 in Biology & Grade 6 in English or Maths.

You will provide a copy of your last school report and/or a reference from an employer or relevant professional other this will include attendance. This is to ensure that we can support you to be able to achieve well on the course.

Applicants with 85% or below attendance will have been deemed not to have met this criteria.

All applicants are given an opportunity to discuss any evidence-based mitigating circumstances that may have affected the reference/school report.

How is the course delivered and assessed?

Like all sciences, biology involves testing ideas through planning, implementing and evaluating experimental evidence.

There are overall 3 components, assessed in 3 separate exams (2 hours each and worth 100 marks each), at the end of the 2nd year. As part of your non-examined assessment you will need to submit a completed lab-book, documenting your laboratory work before you take part in exams. A minimum of 12 laboratory reports completed at a high standard are necessary to achieve practical endorsement.

Future career and study opportunities

A Level Biology is a great first step into a career in science. After studying A Levels you may choose to progress to a university-level course in Biology or another scientific area. 

Previous students have become:

  • Doctors, Dentists, Pharmacists, Physiologists, Physiotherapists, Midwives and Veterinary Surgeons
  • Teachers
  • Marine Biologists
  • Researchers
  • Forensic Scientists
  • Journalists


Additional costs

As a City of Bristol College student, you may incur additional costs to attend your course. For example, it is likely you may need to pay for travel and stationery.

Many courses offer learning opportunities that you may need to pay for. This may include things like study visits and visiting speakers. We will let you know in advance if there will be additional costs.

If you are on a limited income, you may be able to receive help from our Learner Support Funding Bursary.

  • Career Coach
    For guidance on which career path to take, to explore career options related to our courses, find out which careers are in demand, and then get the training you need.

What next?

Where to find us