A level Biology (UK)

Why study A level Biology (UK)?

A level Biology blends theoretical and practical understanding with analytical skills. You will develop a deep understanding of the intricacies of the living world and its interaction with other systems, including its impact on us and us on it. Alongside in-depth knowledge of the biological world, the study of Biology also helps you to develop skills in research, problem solving, organisation and communication.

Gaining an A level in Biology opens up a vast range of opportunities for both university degrees and career options. Biology is a pre-requisite subject for many degrees in Biological Science and Medical related fields of study. Careers directly related to biology include medicine, veterinary science, pharmacy, physiotherapy, biomedical engineering, microbiology, marine biology, conservation and ecology, environmental management, food science, agricultural engineering and zoology. Biology is also a requirement for some Psychology degrees.

‘I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of Biology and technology. A new era is beginning.’ Steve Jobs.

Note that our experienced University Services Adviser can advise on A level courses and all aspects of university entrance.


Wolsey Hall Oxford is a registered school of Cambridge Assessment International Education

Wolsey Hall is a registered online Cambridge International School.

Wolsey Hall Oxford is a Pearson Edexcel approved centre

We offer a wide range of A level courses.

A level biology

What do I need to know to enrol?

A level Biology (UK) is available to UK based students only since it is set only in the UK. It builds directly on the work you will have done for IGCSE/GCSE in the subject. Grade B or 6 at IGCSE/GCSE is required before starting on the A level. Due to the knowledge of Mathematics required, we also require that you have  Grade B or 6 in Maths. We also strongly recommend that you have studied Chemistry at IGCSE or equivalent before embarking on this subject. Wolsey Hall offers the relevant IGCSE courses should you need further prior study. All students undertaking Wolsey Hall A levels must also have IGCSE in English Language at Grade C or 4.

The syllabus and exam

A level Biology (UK) will prepare you for the Edexcel Advanced level syllabus, 8BN0 (for the standalone AS qualification) or 9BN0 (for the full A level). This is the Salters-Nuffield A syllabus. Exams take place in May and June.

AS level

Paper 1

Lifestyle, Transport, Genes and Health (code 8BN0/01) worth 50% of your overall AS grade. 80 marks. (1 hour and 30 minutes)

Paper 2

Development, Plants and the Environment (code 8BN0/02) worth 50% of your overall AS grade. 80 marks. (1 hour and 30 minutes)

Full A level

Paper 1

The Natural Environment and Species Survival (code 9BN0/01) worth 33.33% of your overall A level grade. 100 marks. (2 hours)

Paper 2

Energy, Exercise and Co-ordination (code 9BN0/02) worth 33.33% of your overall A level grade. 100 marks. (2 hours)

Paper 3

General and Practical Applications in Biology (code 9BN0/03) is worth 33.33% of your overall A level grade. 100 marks. (2 hours) Questions in Paper 3 may draw on two or more different topics. The paper will also include questions that target the conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods. There will also be a scientific article released 8 weeks before the exam, which will underpin one section of the paper.

All of our A level courses include a number of past exam papers in the final module. These include the most recent paper which can be taken as a mock exam and submitted to your Tutor for assessment and feedback for a modest additional fee.

Practical endorsement

A level Biology (UK)  contains a separate Practical Endorsement. This is a minimum of 12 practical activities which need to be carried out by each student to show competence in the 12 practical techniques listed in the syllabus.  

The result of the Practical Endorsement (either ‘pass’ or ‘fail’) is reported separately on the A level certificate, in addition to the overall grade for theory.  

You will find a list here of the UK exam centres offering the Practical Endorsement. You may take the written exam at the centre where you take your practical endorsement, but you are not obliged to do so. 

Course samples

Course Fees

Thank you so much for your help with James’ application. He has an unconditional offer to do Computer Science at Kings College London which I think is our first choice, and other offers. All the best at what must be a challenging and hectic time.
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Rona – Mother of James


I spent the evening reflecting on everything and I individually messaged all my teachers saying everything and asking for help. Long messages writing how I really feel about the course etc. and I just really wanted to thank you so much, I have never even heard of such a kind teaching group and such understanding teachers. My old school was nothing like this, and although I can’t see you in real life I already feel so so welcome and I can tell my teachers and I connect in a way. So, thank you for supporting me, it really really means the world. For many reasons I have never really fit in my schools and I love Wolsey Hall! One of my teachers replied to my message already and it really touched me how much you want to us succeed and put no unnecessary pressure on us. I am really grateful you have no idea. Have a lovely evening and don’t worry, I’m getting my working mode on. Just wanted to say your heart for the students doesn’t go unnoticed!
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Eglantine – A Level Psychology Student